Post to correct "bogus claim"
The Post touted some impressive stats on the back page of Monday’s 8-page special section explaining the paper’s extensive design changes.
Among them was a claim that “nearly three times as many Washingtonians age 25-54 read The Post each week than listen to WTOP, the largest audience radio station.”
But Jim Farley, WTOP’s vice president of news and programming, said it was a “bogus claim.”
“They do not print any source for that wildly inaccurate claim,” he wrote me. According to the latest data from media and marketing firm Arbitron, he said, “659,600 people between 25-54 listen to WTOP each week, more than the entire circulation of the newspaper.”
Further, he said, Arbitron reports “nearly 1.5 (million) listeners of all ages listen to WTOP weekly. That’s individual listeners. Now if you resort to the newspaper trick of counting everybody in a household and claiming they all read the newspaper, WTOP could do the same plus count the size of all the carpools that listen to WTOP.”
Farley also contacted Post president and general manager Stephen P. Hills. “He couldn’t have been nicer,” Farley said of Hills. The result: a correction is set to run in Thursday’s Post.
According to Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti, it will read:
“An item in the redesign guide that accompanied Monday's paper incorrectly represented the comparison between the number of Washingtonians who read The Washington Post each week and the number who listen to WTOP, the radio station with the largest audience in this area. More than twice as many Washingtonians aged between 25 and 54 read The Post newspaper each week as listen to the station, according to independent research conducted in 2009 by Scarborough, a market and media research company jointly owned by The Nielsen Company and Arbitron, Inc.”
The latest published Post figures put circulation at 622,700 daily and 858,100 on Sundays.
In Monday’s special section, The Post also said:
-“The Post has the third-highest Sunday circulation in the U.S.”
-“Three times as many area adults read The Post each day as watch “American Idol.”
-“More area men age 18 to 49 read The Post than watch ESPN each week.”
| October 21, 2009; 4:33 PM ET
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