MEANINGLESS NUMBERS: As if Monday’s abysmal circulation report wasn’t bad enough, “publishers managed to make matters worse by taking unprecedented liberties with the way they tally the discount circulation that represents a significant percentage of the readership at many papers.” For the first time, they could count as paid circ copies that sold for as little as one penny (the previous floor was 25 percent of the cover price).
The consequence of the change in the discounting rule is that circulation figures are all over the map … circulation cratered at one newspaper that reduced discounting but remained comparatively healthy for a competitor that continued to offer promotional pricing. Both approaches are perfectly legal under the rules the publishers set for themselves at the Audit Bureau of Circulations…
“The inconsistent circulation data is bound to not merely confound advertisers but also cut into the industry’s fragile credibility with them.” [Newsosaur]
EDITOR QUITS NY OBSERVER: Didn’t survive the year. Gawker squawks:
Not so surprising. Consider the position [Tom] McGeveran walked into: Forced to take over for a legend, then saddled with the insulting “interim editor” title, and immediately handed the task of firing a huge percentage of his editorial employees. Not fun.
Also: Link here to official NY Observer statements.
CANADIAN EXAMINERS: Four cities get blogger-staffed Examiner Websites tomorrow. [Newspaper Innovation]
FOX HOME RUN: NY-Philly series spells big money. [Reuters]
O’REILLY’S BAD BOY: “K Street whores” and Happy Meals. A reporter, rebuffed by a congressman, is told, “Follow the rules that everyone else follows — except for Fox.” Score one for Fox [via Breitbart]: