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Audit Bureau Postpones '09 Conference

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Another media conference has been canceled as publishers tighten up on travel and other spending amid the economic downturn. The Audit Bureau of Circulations board said it would postpone its 2009 annual conference, originally scheduled to take place in Toronto in November, to 2010. The organization plans to instead hold a brief business meeting in New York on Nov. 11.
 
“Many of our member organizations are under widespread travel and budget limitations, and are trimming discretionary expenses such as attending industry conferences,” said Mike Lavery, ABC’s president and managing director. “The board made its decision now, early in the year, so ABC members can plan and budget accordingly.”
 
With publishers facing their weakest financial performance in decades, the Magazine Publishers of America has canceled its fall American Magazine Conference, while the American Society of Newspaper Editors is skipping its annual convention, originally set for April.
 
The ABC board also cited the economy in its decision to rescind its initial approval of a new rule that would have let small newspapers be audited every other year. Chris Black, division vp of media at Sears Holding Co. and an ABC board member, said that with advertisers under intense pressure to prove the effectiveness of their media spending, they needed independently verified circulation data in making media buys.
 
Also at its meeting March 11-13, the ABC expanded the definition of a digital magazine beyond electronic replicas to include digitally published content that is similar but not identical to the printed edition. The rule change takes effect with June 2009 ABC statements.