ABC Board Addresses Multimedia Reporting

    Gives Preliminary Approval to Incorporate Audience Data in ABC Newspaper

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill., March 13 /CNW/ -- To serve its members' needs in
today's increasingly integrated media market, the board of the Audit Bureau of
Circulations (ABC) addressed proposals in each of its media divisions for
reporting cross-platform audience metrics on ABC reports.
    Beginning with the June 2007 ABC reporting period, business publications
may report an aggregated figure for qualified circulation, Web site unique
users, pass-along recipients, and e-newsletter distribution in a sidebar box
highlighted on the front page of ABC Publishers' Statements and Audit Reports.
A prototype of the report is posted on ABC's Web site. ( )
    For consumer magazines the board endorsed the concept of an optional
Multimedia Publisher's Statement that would allow publishers to detail print
circulation and ABCi-audited Web site traffic in a single report. The ABC
board asked that its buyer and publisher advisory committees provide detailed
recommendations for the board to consider at its next meeting in July.
    For newspapers the ABC board provided preliminary approval to work with
the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) and Scarborough Research to begin
incorporating audience estimates in ABC U.S. media reports. While still in
development, the intent is for ABC to allow newspaper publishers the option to
report in-market readership -- print and online -- in a combined net-audience
figure, as well as overall Web site activity. ABC would verify this optional
information, in addition to the requisite print circulation figures. The data
is expected to be available in an online database, where advertisers could
analyze audience and circulation information by market areas.
    If given final approval by the ABC board at its next meeting in July,
newspaper publishers could begin reporting this optional information as early
as the September 2007 six-month reporting period.
    "For newspaper advertisers, circulation information is essential, but
readership and online audience data are also vital," noted Mark Kaline, global
media manager, Ford Motor Co. "Having all of this information available in a
single source, verified by ABC to ensure transparency and accountability, is a
big step forward for the industry and a big plus for all advertisers."
    "ABC and Scarborough are trusted, recognized sources of newspaper data,"
said Stephen P. Hills, president and general manager, the Washington Post.
"This important initiative will give marketers a broader view of a newspaper's
brand and the multiple ways it reaches its audience. We are confident that the
database in development will provide solutions for advertisers, agencies, and
large and small newspapers in print and on-line."

    Other Key ABC Board Actions
    When a premium is offered in conjunction with the sale of a newspaper,
ABC rules require that the consumer pay the full value of the premium, plus a
qualifying price for the publication, in order for the circulation to be
reported as paid on ABC reports. The ABC board gave initial approval to exempt
from these rules newspaper subscriber rewards/loyalty programs and free or
discounted access to its online content, provided certain conditions are met.
    The ABC board also modified the premium rules for business publications,
allowing publishers to offer free or discounted access to the publication's
Web site without affecting the qualification of current or future
subscriptions. Business periodical publishers may also offer subscribers
access to events or activities unavailable to non-subscribers.
    The ABC board also modified the newspaper rule governing single-issue
sales of back copies to specify that an issue is considered a back copy once
the subsequent day's newspaper is made available for sale.
    ABC also elected to its board Steven Rossi, executive vice president and
chief operating officer of MediaNews Group Inc., as a newspaper director. He
succeeds James W. Hopson, who recently retired as vice president for
publishing at Lee Enterprises.
    The ABC board of directors' meeting was held March 7-10 in Pebble Beach,
Calif. For a complete summary of board actions, visit ABC's Virtual Pressroom.
( )

    ABC members are invited to attend a webinar on March 15 recapping
important board actions and rule changes. The online session for ABC newspaper
members begins at 11:00 ET ( ), while the
session for magazine members begins at 2:00 ET ( ). The cost is $149.
Interested attendees can register on the ABC Web site.

    With more than 4,000 members in North America, ABC is a forum of the
world's leading magazine and newspaper publishers, advertisers and ad
agencies. The organization provides credible, verified information essential
to the media buying and selling process. ABC maintains the world's foremost
electronic database of audited-circulation information and an array of
verified readership, subscriber demographics and online activity data. To
learn more, visit

For further information:

For further information: Neal Lulofs, +1-847-879-8442, , or Kammi Altig, +1-847-879-8232, , both of Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) Web

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