FAQs for News Media

 

Posted 4/28/2020

How do I take advantage of simplified reporting with projections?

The simplified filing option is now available in the Publisher Filing Center. Learn more about this option and watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to file.

 

Posted 4/10/2020

If we don’t report circulation data for March, how will that impact the audit?

The audit will cover the 11- or 23-month period, depending on your audit cycle. The audit report will also include an explanation that the circulation data for March 2020 was excluded from the report due to the COVID-19 virus.

 

If I am unable to provide net circulation for my omitted days, will the filing tool still allow me to omit the days from my circulation averages?

Yes, the date will appear under omitted days and the phrasing will be adjusted to reflect the absence of the circulation data.

 

Posted 4/7/2020

How is AAM handling quarterly filing for the March-ending period?

We know that your daily operations are impacted by COVID-19 and want to provide some relief from your AAM obligations. To help, we’re offering two different options for the March 2020 filing period. Both allow you to file data for the normal quarter of January 1 to March 31 or remove the impact of COVID-19 from your data and file for January 1 to February 29:

For U.S. news media organizations:

Simplified Reporting with Projections – Available April 28

Submit a simplified list of data elements, and we’ll project your more detailed data using the December 2019 quarterly report. When this option becomes available on April 28, you will log into the Publisher Filing Center and share:

  • Total net print and digital circulation
  • Number of eliminated days for period, if applicable
  • Number of non-publishing days for period, if applicable
  • Period start and end dates (January 1 to March 31 or January 1 to February 29)
  • Total circulation for the dates of the ZIP code analysis

Here’s a sample of what the simplified reporting table will look like:

Normal Filing with Optional Simplified ZIP Code Reporting—Available Now
If you wish to file your circulation data now, the Publisher Filing Center is open and ready for you to submit your data. You can report for either the two-months ended February 29 or three-months ended March 31.

We are offering you the opportunity to project your ZIP code data using dates from your December 2019 quarterly report. In the filing tool, you will simply indicate your desire to project when completing the survey page for paragraph 3.

Our hope is that these accommodations will allow most newspapers to file data by the end of May so that buyers may continue to plan their investments. We also understand that it may not be possible for you to file data right now and that’s okay, too. If you cannot file your data, please contact Kelly Murphy so that we can determine how to best assist you.

 

For Canadian news media organizations:

Simplified Reporting with Projections – Available April 28

Submit a simplified list of data elements, and we’ll project your more detailed data using the December 2019 quarterly report. When this option becomes available on April 28, you will log into the Publisher Filing Center and share:

  • Total net print and digital circulation
  • Number of eliminated days for period, if applicable
  • Number of non-publishing days for period, if applicable
  • Period start and end dates (January 1 to March 31 or January 1 to February 29)

Here’s a sample of what the simplified reporting table will look like:

Normal Filing—Available Now
If you wish to file your circulation data now, the Publisher Filing Center is open and ready for you to submit your data. You can report for either the two-months ended February 29 or three-months ended March 31.

Our hope is that these accommodations will allow most newspapers to file data by the end of May so that buyers may continue to plan their investments. We also understand that it may not be possible for you to file data right now and that’s okay, too. If you cannot file your data, please contact Kelly Murphy so that we can determine how to best assist you.

 

 

Posted 4/6/2020

If I serve qualified targeted circulation using our main paper, not an affiliated publication, can we curtail the editorial content to control costs?

Yes, provided the basic identity of your newspaper is maintained, the editorial content may be modified.  The applicable quarterly data reports will need to contain an explanation of the situation.

 

For NIE programs, many of the affidavits are distributed at the end of the school year to confirm classroom usage. With many school districts ending the school year or using at-home learning, can we get an exception to obtaining affidavits for our NIE program?

Yes. For audit purposes, please maintain the original order, any affidavits obtained during the school year, and any other documentation that may be available regarding the school district’s at-home or online learning mandate.

 

Posted 3/27/2020

If I extend past the 90 days allowance for arrears, I’ll eventually be over the 4% allowance. Will I have to adjust for this overage, or will an exception be granted due to the impact of the coronavirus?
Newspapers that exceed the 4% allowance due to service of grace copies beyond the 90-day threshold during the coronavirus pandemic, can claim all copies as paid circulation. When the bad debt is recognized as part of the normal accounting cycles, you may need to modify the 4% disclosure to reflect the impact of the coronavirus in future quarterly data reports.

 

How will March 2020 quarterly data reports note any changes due to the coronavirus?
Below are explanations to use for filing March 2020 quarterly data reports, if applicable to your circulation.



Miscellaneous—U.S.

Due to the disruption of normal business activities created by COVID-19, the following exceptions to AAM’s qualification and reporting standards are applicable for this reporting period:

  • The 10-day limit for omitted days will not apply for the period of 3/09/20 to 3/31/20 the period-end date, by exception to AAM Rule C2.7.
  • The arrears copies served in excess of 4% for the period 3/09/20 to the period-end date, are allowed by exception to AAM Rule C5.18.
  • The expected distribution or delivery of print copies was negatively impacted for the period 3/09/20 to the period-end date.

 

Miscellaneous—Canada

Due to the disruption of normal business activities created by COVID-19, the following exceptions to AAM’s qualification and reporting standards are applicable for this reporting period:

  • The 10-day limit for omitted days will not apply for the period 3/09/20 to the period-end date, by exception to AAM Rule C102.5.
  • The arrears copies served in excess of 4% for the period 3/09/20 to the period-end date, are allowed by exception to AAM Rule C105.17.
  • The expected distribution or delivery of print copies was negatively impacted for the period 3/09/20 to the period-end date.

 

For ZIP code reporting, if a newspaper typically selects a date from the last two weeks of the quarter, can other dates be selected? If my system does not allow for the selection of past dates, can the analysis be projected for a “normal” day(s)?
Yes, newspapers can select any representative day within the quarter or project the analysis based on a “normal” days distribution.

 

My newspaper has received requests for access to digital NIE copies from teachers and students in districts that have implemented at-home or online learning. Can I provide these copies and claim them as qualified circulation?
Yes. For those school districts that have moved to an at-home or continuous learning model, teachers and students may specifically request digital service. Those copies may be reported as qualified educational copies. For the audit, please maintain documentation showing the school district’s at-home or online learning mandate and the teacher or student request. Once the normal school year resumes, the digital NIE program should cease.

 

We would like to serve copies to nursing homes in the area. Where is that circulation reported?
Copies served to nursing homes are reported as verified home delivery.

 

 

Posted: 3/20/2020

Currently, AAM allows 10 days to be omitted from circulation averages. Will that be expanded?
Yes. Beginning March 9 and continuing until normal business activity resumes, publishers may omit any day from circulation averages provided there is a 5% variance from the preceding typical day. Any omitted days during this period will not apply to the 10-day limit.

 

Can news media organizations serve grace copies beyond the 90-day limit and beyond the 4% threshold?
Yes. We understand implications of the coronavirus may impact your ability to effectively work expiring subscriptions and renewals in a timely manner. Beginning March 9 and continuing until normal business resumes, the 90-day and 4% limits on grace and post-expire copies is suspended so that copies served on qualifying orders and subscriptions may count as paid circulation.

 

Many employees are now working from home and are unable to access their print employee copies. Can we serve digital copies to these individuals?
Yes, please serve remote employees digital copies. These copies may be claimed as qualified circulation—employee copies.

 

Can I substitute digital copies to print subscribers?
Yes. We understand that many production departments and delivery forces are being overwhelmed by the coronavirus and are unable to deliver print copies to paid subscribers. Digital copies may be served as replacements for print paid subscriptions provided the publisher maintains records showing the subscriber was notified of the conversion and is able to access the digital copy. If subscribers decline the digital service, they must be excluded from the circulation claims. Once normal business resumes, the subscription must be reverted to print.

 

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding Covid-19's impact on your audit or reporting, please contact us.