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Feds probe NYC papers

Times, Post, News subpoenaed

NEW YORK — The Gray Lady is being dragged into a federal investigation into circulation practices at New York City-area newspapers.

The New York Times said it has received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York as part of an ongoing probe into the way circulation figures are reported to advertisers.

Also subpoenaed this week were Mort Zuckerman’s New York Daily News and Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. None of the papers have been accused of wrongdoing.

“We are cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has informed us that the Times is not a focus of the investigation,” said Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis.

The U.S. Attorney’s probe follows a number of high-profile circulation scandals at Tribune Co.’s Newsday, Hollinger Intl.’s Chicago Sun-Times and Belo Corp.’s Dallas Morning News.

The Times is the largest circulation daily in New York with 1,121,057 subscribers. The Daily News (circulation: 715,052) and the Post (686,207) are in a heated battle to become the city’s top tabloid, with the Post claiming it has taken the circ lead.

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