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Update: KUIU sues Eastmans' Publishing, Inc. for fraud

 

KUIU Eastmans Jason Guy story updates
Photo credits via public Facebook Pages

Recently more information surfaced about the KUIU vs. Eastmans' lawsuit.

Magazines exist to sell ads. It’s a simple fact of the publishing industry. In order to entice advertisers to purchase ad space, publishers often send potential advertisers “media kits” with pertinent information regarding its publications to potential advertisers when soliciting ad sales. According to documents recently filed by KUIU with the federal court, paid circulation numbers in media kits sent to the company and other potential advertisers grossly overstated the publisher’s paid circulation and contradict government filings made by Eastman’s that were discovered by the company earlier this year. You can read the first update on this story here.

In their press release regarding the lawsuit Eastmans' says:

"In the more than 29-years of its existence, Eastmans’ has not changed nor altered the way in which we report and/or distribute our circulation numbers. The publishing industry dictates that all publication’s circulation numbers remain completely open and transparent to the general public. Like all legitimate publications in the United States of America, Eastman’s publishes an official federal form (USPS Form 3526) in each publication once per year for all to see. These numbers are the publishing industry standard; required, monitored and audited by the United States Postal Service each and every year. This process has not changed since our inception in 1987 and has been in place as a standard for the industry for over 100 years (US Mail Classification Act of 1879).” Eastmans' official press release can be found here.

In its 3526 filing for Eastmans' Hunting Journal for 2014, the publisher discloses an average paid circulation of 39,067 for the 12 months preceding the filing.

Eastmans Hunting Journal 2014 magazine circulation document

In contrast, the 2015 Eastmans' Publishing Media Kit claims that it has a paid circulation of 58,750 - a 40% overstatement.

Eastmans Hunting Journal 2015 media kit circulation claim

Eastmans Hunting Journal and Bowhunting Journal 2015 media kit circulation claim

In the 2015 3526 filing for the same publication, Eastmans' discloses a paid circulation of just 35,612 - a year over year decline of 9%. See image below.

Eastmans Hunting Journal 2015 magazine circulation document

Strikingly, the 2016 Media Kit claims the same paid circulation as the prior year - 58,750. See image below.

Eastmans Hunting Journal 2016 media kit circulation claim

Eastmans Hunting Journal and Bowhunting Journal 2016 media kit circulation claim

Eastmans' Hunting Journal
circulation numbers

2015 Print
Media Sheet
2014 Statement of
ownership 12 month avg.
Overstatement
Percent
58,750 39,067 34%
2016 Print
Media Sheet
2015 Statement of
ownership 12 month avg.
Overstatement
Percent
58,750 35,612 40%


Similarly, the 3526 filings for Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal for the years 2014 and 2015 disclose paid circulation of 24,574 and 22,619 respectively against a media kit claim of 34,975 for 2015 and 2016 (an overstatement of 35% for 2015 and 43% for 2016). [A call from one of goHUNT's reporters requesting an official comment from Eastmans' was not returned at the time of filing of this article.]

Eastmans Bowhunting Journal 2014 magazine circulation document

Eastmans Bowhunting Journal 2015 magazine circulation document

Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal
circulation numbers

2015 Print
Media Sheet
2014 Statement of
ownership 12 month avg.
Overstatement
Percent
34,975 24,574 35%
2016 Print
Media Sheet
2015 Statement of
ownership 12 month avg.
Overstatement
Percent
34,975 22,619 43%


If Eastmans' disclosed the true numbers to the USPS, why would it claim a higher number to prospective advertisers in their Media Kits? If Eastmans' hasn’t changed its practice since 1987, does that mean the publisher has been overstating circulation to advertisers the entire time? KUIU wants to find out and has requested trial by jury. Apparently the company isn’t interested in a quiet settlement.

 

 

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