When an attorney for Newsday advertisers filed a federal racketeering suit against the daily paper last February, alleging circulation fraud, the AAN-member newsweekly, Long Island Press, jumped on the story. Reporter Christopher Twarowski found evidence of undelivered papers dumped in landfills, wooded lots and recycling bins, and interviewed former distributors and retailers who supported some of the lawsuit's claims. This week Newsday publisher Raymond Jansen announced his early retirement, and Twarowski reports that a grand jury has been impaneled in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn to hear testimony on the alleged fraud.
A Long Island Press news team looks at the implications of the $100 million class-action suit filed Feb. 10 by four Queens advertisers. They accuse Newsday of using a "Fudge ABC" computer program to fool the Audit Bureau of Circulation about its figures. The daily paper allegedly gave extra loads of unordered papers to distributors on audit days and regularly sent vanloads of unsold papers to the dump. Anonymous sources "with executive-level experience at the paper confirmed to the Long Island Press that at least the essence of the allegations" are true, the team reports. Other advertisers could join the class-action suit.
In an apparent effort to stop the public from reading an article about his unsavory past, Tim Yousik, currently running in the Republican primary for Riverhead town supervisor, marched into Town Hall and removed all copies of the Long Island Press' Aug. 14 issue, witnesses say. Yousik was apparently attempting to make disappear the cover story on his dirty past: a 1987 conviction for third-degree sodomy and endangering the welfare of a minor in upstate New York.
The owners of the Long Island Press, one of the seven applying papers voted into the association at the Pittsburgh convention, "have begun plotting how to take the paper daily to compete with Newsday," reports the New York Post. Jed Morey, CEO of the paper's parent company, the Morey Organization, which also owns three radio stations on Long Island, tells the Post: "We consider the weekly a trial balloon. The size of this market lends itself to two dailies."