Following the discovery by Hollinger International [H-Intl] that its Chicago Sun-Times newspaper had been overstating single-copy circulation numbers [WAMN:17-Jun-04], the tabloid has slashed the figures by 23%.
Single-copy sales from newsstands represent 65% of the total circulation, and the 23% reduction is equivalent to about 72,000 copies of the paper.
An investigation into the circulation misstatement by an independent accounting firm, on behalf of H-Intl, will shortly announce its findings.
But it's too late for executives formerly in charge of circulation, who resigned two weeks after H-Intl revealed the deception. Sun-Times and H-Intl are also awaiting the outcome of lawsuits filed against them by disgruntled advertisers.
Although Sun-Times' publisher John Cruickshank claims it is too early to know how much advertisers will demand in restitution, he may be guided by the Tribune Company-owned Newsday's recent attempt at appeasing advertisers by cutting advertising rates for sixteen months following the uncovering of its own inflated circulation [WAMN:02-Aug-04].
Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff