Verified Circulation announces program changes

Times are exciting here in VC Land; we expect you, the members, have all received the notices from us, outlining the changes that have been applied to the program recently.  Although these changes directly affect circulation figures for some members, these changes are integral in presenting the industry with accurate and credible circulation figures.  The most dramatic changes include:

In the past, a three per cent deduction was automatically applied to figures reported on Form X in the appropriate columns when a publication did not declare its returns.  As this practice was never formalized in VC documentation, the Verified Circulation Committee conducted a review and concluded that the practice be discontinued.  The mandatory requirement of reporting returns was reaffirmed as well as the enforcement of standard policy for non-compliance. Standard policy commands that failure to track returns may result in expulsion from the program. 

CCNA recognizes that many controlled-circulation publications have not tracked their returns in the past. Effective October 1, 2003, publications participating in the program were advised that reporting returns is mandatory. Form X was revised to include a “returns” column to facilitate this process.  Publishers are required to report returns for all relevant entries after October 1, 2003, and VC advises that publishers risk having those numbers excluded from circulation totals until they are reported.

On a brighter note, we are pleased to announce that publishers may now include numbers for issues that are distributed electronically (in PDF format), for audit, if the electronic distribution is subsidiary to the actual paper, and is an exact duplication of the newsprint copy.  Backup documentation includes: subscriber information including e-mail addresses, proof of recipient payments (deposits, receipts).

CCNA, its board and the VC Committee are committed to maintaining the credibility of VC.  The system has performed well for our members for more than 25 years.  The program expanded its services in 2002 and growth continues to increase steadily; the programÔÇÖs active membership now exceeds  550.    To clarify usage of the word “active” there are approximately 20+ publications that have recently been suspended from the program due to non-filing.  It is appropriate at this time to remind members that although notices are forwarded regarding submission due dates, the Verified Circulation program is self-administered and it is the responsibility of the member newspapers to file reports twice a year.  Please note reporting periods on your  calendar to ensure timely submissions. With the increase in membership and expansion of the program to include Business and Consumer publications, recently it has not been possible to maintain second and third  notifications of due dates due to time restraints.  If you are unable to meet your deadline, members are invited to request an extension, but in order to receive an extension, you must call us.  We also note, that as an option, forms can be downloaded from CCNAÔÇÖs website at

In addition to the changes effected recently, planning is underway for an upgrade to the Verified Circulation program manuals and the development of the Verified Circulation website to facilitate an easier process.  We look forward to working with you, the members, in providing an efficient, accurate and credible service.