Friday, July 16, 2004

Newsday circulation scandal escalating

I tell you, I was shocked, absolutely shocked.
The news at Newsday went from bad to worse yesterday, as the parent Tribune Co. revealed that the paper's circulation totals were inflated over a longer period and at higher levels than it admitted last month.
Who would believe that the Chicago-based, Daley-empowering, Chicago Tribune could have been so, ah, mistaken about their circulation figures?

At least they are coming clean about this one teeny, tiny mistake.  Uh, wait...

Tribune said it found "additional misstatements" for last year and March, plus new errors affecting totals reported in 2001 and 2002.

Keep digging

UPDATE:  The arrogance of the Chicago Tribune is unbelievable.   Well, maybe not.   They are, after all, our Peter Pan Press.   Newsday reported they had set aside $35 million for advertisers who might sue.   They are confident they won't

Tribune chief executive Dennis FitzSimons doubted many advertisers would sue because they rely on Newsday's dominant position in the Long Island marketplace to deliver their messages to consumers.

How's that for customer support? They might be underestimating the costs a tiny bit, though.
The suit was expanded Monday with seven additional plaintiffs and new charges. Attorney Joseph O. Giaimo said, "I think it is totally outrageous that a company accused of bilking advertisers could think that they could settle for $35 million. We are alleging fraud going back to 1995 totaling $600 million" and with racketeering "that means treble damages."
He's an attorney. He can call it racketeering.