CCAB’s report card out on 43 Canadian dailies

The new circulation measurement rules have been introduced to better reflect the needs of media buyers.

The Canadian Circulation Audit Board (CCAB) released a new set of rules today when it released its circulation numbers for 43 daily paid, non-paid and community newspapers across the country, including those from the three largest publishing groups: Sun Media, Torstar and Transcontinental.

Among the newspapers in the Trend Report About Circulation (TRAC) are the top performers for Torstar, Sun and Transcontinental: Toronto Star, with 3,063,707 per week and an average of 608,001 copies on Saturdays, its highest day (compared to 3,226,080 per week and 623,926 on Saturdays last year according to the ABC audit); the Toronto Sun with 1,399,084 per week and an average of 319,499 on Sundays (compared to 1,374,958 per week and 314,597 on Sundays last year according to ABC numbers); and the Telegram in St. John’s, Nfld., with 195,678 per week and an average of 42,740 on Saturdays (compared to 215,884 per week and 46,323 on Saturdays last year according to ABC numbers).

Today’s Newspaper Audience Databank (NADbank) numbers show the Toronto Star‘s 19 markets has a total weekly readership of 2,802,000, while the Toronto Sun‘s 15 markets has a total weekly readership of 1,753,000.

Other results include Journal de Montreal with 1,841,324 per week and 290,885 on Saturdays; the Ottawa Sun with 329,180 per week and 49,091 on Fridays; the Calgary Sun with 385,263 per week and 73,995 on Sundays; Vancouver’s 24 Hours with 639,448 per week and 135,293 on Fridays; and Toronto’s Metro with 1,370,032 per week with 277,496 on Fridays.

Last year, several media buyers, including M2 Universal president Hugh Dow and ZenithOptimedia president Sunni Boot, spoke out against those companies switching from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) to the CCAB, claiming that ABC had set the standard for measuring circulation and expressing their concern that having two standards in Canada would prove problematic.

To address the needs of buyers, the CCAB created the Canadian Newspaper Advisory Board (CNAB), consisting of 10 media buying representatives and seven media owners, to revise the newspaper audit system so that it would more accurately serve the market.

One of the most impactful changes to the report is that while sponsored circulation was previously a sub-category of paid circulation, it now sits in a new category: sponsored or free. ‘There was a consensus, supported by research, that the consumption habits were similar for those subscribers receiving copies at no cost to themselves when compared to purchased copies by a third party,’ explains Tim Peel, VP of the CCAB/BPA, ‘so it made sense to include them in the same bucket.’

After interviewing media buyers, the CCAB determined that when considering paid circulation, price-point data is not used in the evaluation process; this is mainly because paid dailies are competing with non-paid dailies so reporting this information is no longer as relevant. Therefore, as of 2010, reporting circulation prices of 50% and above separate from below 50% will be eliminated.

The numbers are being released now to coincide with today’s release of NADbank results, so that circulation and readership can be easily compared.

To view the full CCAB report, go here.