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USPS WILL COUNT DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS.

Good news, bad news and worse news came out of the United States Postal Service and Congress last week, as the service said publishers could count digital subscriptions on their annual statements of ownership, a proposal to give a direct mail firm a huge discount moved to its next step of consideration and the House of Representatives continued to dilly-dally on postal reform legislation.

The National Newspaper Association reported on Tuesday that the USPS Product Classification department had issued a ruling allowing publishers to count electronic editions on PS Form 3526, the annual circulation report.

The group said the counting of digital subscribers would be effective with the forms that will be filed Oct. 1, 2012. The new rule is only for publications whose circulation is 60 percent or more paid, the NNA said, and that print and digital subscribers can't be double counted.

A note from the Newspaper Association of America to members last week indicated that the Postal Service had "reaffirmed its support" for a negotiated service agreement with Valassis Direct Mail that would give the firm a huge discount in distributing advertising inserts.

The Valassis deal must still be approved by the Postal Rate Commission, noted the NAA's Paul Boyle, and the commission's ruling on the deal could come as early as this week.

Lastly, on Tuesday Tonda Rush -- the chief executive of the National Newspaper Association -- wrote on the group's web site that despite a $3,200 million 2012 second-quarter loss at the USPS, the House of Representatives remains unmoved on postal reform.

Rush pointed out that the U.S. Senate passed a bill that restructures the Postal Service, but "the House leadership has made no move to take up" the Senate bill and that the House is winding down for the summer and the fall election cycle.

Let's concentrate on the good news: the ability to count electronic editions will make the postal numbers and the audited numbers similar, helping advertisers figure out a publication's reach.
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Publication:NewsInc
Date:Jun 11, 2012
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