In an official audit that confirmed Newsday's earlier forecast, the industry's circulation watchdog said yesterday that the newspaper's daily circulation last year was 481,816 copies on weekdays and 574,081 on Sunday.
In both cases, that is nearly 98,000 fewer copies than Newsday had reported a year ago.
The new figures, which are for the 12 months that ended in September last year, were in line with estimates released to advertisers two months ago by Newsday's parent, Tribune Co.
"The results of the audit are consistent with the ABC board's decision in July to censure Newsday for its circumvention of the ABC rules, rules to which all members agree to abide," said Michael J. Lavery, president of the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The 90-year-old group verifies circulation figures for advertisers; circulation is a key factor in determining ad rates.
In the 26-page report, the bureau said Newsday had misstated its average paid circulation by 16.9 percent of weekday editions, or 97,783 copies. On Sunday, sales were inflated by 14.5 percent, or 97,739.
A little more than 46 percent of the claimed weekday paid circulation that was disallowed by auditors came from single-copy sales, and 29 percent was deducted from home-delivery tallies, according to figures that compared the audit with the publisher's reports that had been previously submitted.
The next largest cut in weekday circulation - 12,695 copies, or 13 percent of the total deduction - was for copies that Newsday had claimed to distribute to schools. The remainder was in other types of paid circulation.
Newsday had disclosed that its circulation was inflated going back to 2001. Tribune has set aside $90 million to pay rebates to aggrieved advertisers of Newsday and another Tribune newspaper, Hoy, a Spanish-language daily in New York.
Newsday Publisher Timothy P. Knight said he was "pleased that this audit has been completed and that the results are consistent with the earlier estimates given to advertisers."
Newspaper industry analyst John Morton said advertisers will be reassured by the latest numbers: "This isn't a great surprise, but it will reassure them that the audit backs up what Newsday was saying its reduced circulation was," he said.
Newsday is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.