119,873 > 355,000?
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119,873 > 355,000?

If you picked up a copy of this week’s Eye, you may have noticed that the text along the bottom of the cover claims that “It’s official! Eye Weekly has the largest circulation of any urban weekly in Canada!*” Yipee!
That asterisk leads to small text running up the side of the paper that reads “119,873 copies picked up each week. Verified Audit Circulation Interim Audit Report. April ’06 – Sept. ’06.” The point is driven home on page 22, which repeats the announcement in a half-page declaration with a few things added: the text “Thanks Toronto! The feeling is mutual…”, as well as the Print Measurement Bureau (or PMB)’s logo and a “Verified Audit Circulation” logo stamped below it.
There is, of course, one huge problem with Eye‘s assertion: NOW. On page 121 of this week’s issue, NOW also asserts their dominance as “Toronto’s #1 Weekly” in all caps, with the stats to back it up: “Every week, 355,000 people pick up NOW. That’s 130,000 more readers than NOW‘s nearest competitor.” In smaller text beside it, it reads “PMB 2007, NATIONAL 12+”
The PMB’s 2007 report (16 kb, .PDF file) is based on data for the period between October 2004 and September 2006, and seems to justify NOW‘s claims over Eye‘s. In a sample size of 24,000 readers, 355 people picked up NOW, while 225 picked up Eye (and, uh, 280 picked up Canadian Golf). So, unless NOW isn’t urban, isn’t weekly, or isn’t Canadian—or unless our math skills are pure garbage—Eye’s assertion that their dominance is “official” seems to be nothing but wishful thinking. Maybe one day, Eye.
Photo from LexNger in the Torontoist Flickr Pool.