Friday, May 3, 2002

Star-Bulletin hires KPMG
for circulation audit

By Star-Bulletin staff

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has commissioned the Honolulu office of national accounting firm KPMG LLP to conduct a circulation audit.

KPMG is auditing the Star-Bulletin's circulation for the month of April. Figures for the audit will be available in late May.

The move comes after the Star-Bulletin terminated relations with the Audit Bureau of Circulations and declined to take part in ABC's semi-annual circulation report.

Star-Bulletin Publisher Don Kendall said the audit will give readers and advertisers a more current measure of the daily's circulation figures

Schaumburg, Ill.-based ABC's most recent report, which was released on Wednesday, covered the six-month period ending March 31.

Kendall said ABC's auditing team treated the Star-Bulletin "unfairly" on several occasions. He noted that an ABC audit manager questioned a coupon promotion by the Star-Bulletin in September after receiving a complaint from a competitor, the Honolulu Advertiser.

"We were ABC's customer but if you're not happy with their customer service why would you do business with them?" said Kendall. "We don't think they've treated us fairly."

ABC officials could not be reached for immediate comment. Dennis Francis, general manager at the Advertiser, said that the newspaper abided by ABC's audit rules.

"It's quite a rare event for a paper of the size of the Star-Bulletin to drop out of ABC even before they are audited," Francis added.

In the ABC report, the Advertiser's paid daily circulation for Monday through Saturday increased 32 percent to 150,277 for the six months ending March 31. An unaudited ABC report for the six months ending Sept. 30, 2001, estimated the Star-Bulletin's Monday through Saturday daily circulation at 63,342.

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