Media leaders deplore resignations from ABC by Canadian newspapers
This afternoon, Star Media Group, Sun Media and Transcontinental Media resigned from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, choosing instead to have future measurement done by the Canadian Circulation Audit Board.
The news that Star Media Group, Sun Media and Transcontinental Media have resigned from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, choosing instead to have future measurement done by the Canadian Circulation Audit Board, has been greeted with dismay by some local media veterans.
‘I can’t begin to express how shocked and disappointed I am at this shortsighted move,’ says M2 Universal president Hugh Dow. ‘In an environment in which newspapers are struggling to retain readers and advertising revenue, this will only make media buyers more apprehensive and wary.
‘ABC has been the gold standard of auditing since its founding nearly a century ago, and those standards are needed more today than ever,’ Dow continued. ‘We are now supposed to accept two different standards in Canada? I cannot imagine a worse time to make the newspaper-buying decision problematic.’
Why the resignations? The three Canadian publishers issued a statement that read: ‘For many years, [we] have felt there was a need for a ‘made in Canada’ auditing structure to address widespread concerns within the newspaper industry about a lack of Canadian input into US-based auditing agencies, and because of the need for increased recognition of unique Canadian perspectives on the future of the newspaper industry.’
In February, CCAB created a Canadian Newspaper Advisory Board to act as the main decision-making executive body for the Canadian newspapers – paid and free, daily and community – that join CCAB. The advisory board includes 16 members, with eight from newspaper publishing companies and eight from the ad industry.
Further explaining today’s news, Steve Angelevski, Sun Media’s corporate VP, reader sales and service, stated: ‘A thorough review of our business and the needs of our advertising partners drove the decision and underscored the benefits of consolidating circulation auditing services through the CCAB. The new governance structure will ensure important relevancy to the distinct realities of the Canadian media scene.’
Canwest president/CEO Dennis Skulsky says of their newspapers’ decision to remain with ABC: ‘It has served our industry well for nearly 100 years, providing a forum for advertisers and publishers based on mutual trust, transparency and accountability. I appreciate and recognize that the US and Canadian marketplaces are different,’ Skulsky adds. ‘That’s precisely why ABC has addressed this over the years with unique rules and guidelines specific to Canada.’
With nearly 4,000 members in North America, ABC has traditionally served as a forum of the world’s leading magazine and newspaper publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies.