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Advertisers' lawsuit settled by Hollinger for $15 million

THE BALTIMORE SUN

CHICAGO - Hollinger International Inc., publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, said yesterday that it settled a lawsuit over claims of inflated circulation at the newspaper and two other publications for a total of $15 million in cash and free advertising.

The settlement will resolve most claims by advertisers arising from the inflated circulation figures, Hollinger said. It will pay $7.7 million in cash and give advertisers $7.3 million in free ads and discounts.

The settlement doesn't cover lawsuits by four advertisers that the company is still negotiating with.

The Sun-Times also will pay as much as $5.6 million in fees and expenses for the advertisers' lawyers.

"Senior management of the Chicago Sun-Times Group alerted the audit committee to practices it had discovered that resulted in the overstatement of circulation figures at the Chicago Sun-Times over the past several years under prior leadership," said Jeremy Fielding, a Hollinger spokesman.

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