Latest update: September 9th, 2013
It’s hard to think of a story more unimportant or inconsequential – except, of course, to the relatively small number of Daily News readers whose expectations of quick and easy lucre were cruelly dashed – but the Post went into full tabloid frenzy, with screaming banners atop breathless “news” accounts, solicitations of complaints from disgruntled contestants (“Have your dreams been stiffed by the Daily News? Call the Post at …”) and Andrea Peyser at her indignant best (“Look at the people who played this game, and you see the kinds of folks on whom the Daily News has long preyed. You saw hourly wage slaves. A handful of students. Immigrants. The elderly and infirm.”).
Not to begrudge the Post its admirable concern for immigrants, the elderly and the infirm, but last week’s theatrics were only in the most superficial sense about those numbers mistakenly published by the Daily News. The numbers that really concern the Post are circulation and ad revenue numbers, and the News’s contest blunder merely handed the Post an unanticipated weapon of convenience.
The two papers are engaged in what Business Week recently described as an “apocalyptic struggle” for readers and advertisers. Though the Post’s circulation has skyrocketed over the past five years while the News’s has suffered a slight decline, the News still sells more copies than the Post – by an insignificant number on weekdays but by better than a quarter-million on Sundays. And the News outsells the Post in four of the five boroughs (Manhattan’s basically a draw).
Adding to the Post’s frustration, writes Business Week’s Anthony Bianco, is skepticism in media and business circles over whether the Post “can ever be securely profitable as long as it coexists with the News.” The reason: “Only 26 percent of Post readers buy it exclusively; for the News the figure is 60 percent.” The Post, says Bianco, has become “New York’s favorite extra read,” a “status that puts off advertisers above all else.”
So the Post’s seizing on the News’s contest mishap and using it to mercilessly bludgeon its archrival is understandable if cheesy – and just a little hypocritical.
In his hugely entertaining 1996 book It’s Alive! How America’s Oldest Newspaper Cheated Death and Why It Matters, Steven Cuozzo, a Post lifer who’s held a variety of titles in thirty-plus years at the paper, described some problems that attended the Post’s operation of a 1980′s giveaway game called Wingo:
“…[M]ost participants were less educated and less affluent than the paper’s core readership. This was evident when occasional misprints caused players to believe mistakenly they had won a fortune. It was sometimes left for [young reporter Charles] Carillo to help smooth over the misunderstanding.
“Once, Carillo went up to our promotion firm’s midtown office where an excited mob jammed the corridor. The promotion man collared the cub reporter.
” ‘Jeez, it’s like Ellis Island in here,’ the promotion guy said, a reference to the multiethnic mix of Wingo players. It turned out a confusing promo had mixed up the rules for weekly Wingo and the instant daily version. So three hundred whooping, singing celebrants showed up on Fifth Avenue to claim nonexistent prizes. Among them was a wheelchair-bound Pennsylvania farmer who had never before left the state.
“Carillo recalls, laughing, ‘This promotion guy is standing there, waving his arms at the crowd, yelling, ‘You have not won….You have not won.’ “
About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.
If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.
- Haifa U Research Confirms, ‘Think Good & It Will Be Good!’
on March 4, 2015 11:35 PM
- Abbas Underscores PLO’s ’3 NO’s’ in Ramallah Rant
on March 4, 2015 10:00 PM
- His Hands Weren’t Up: DoJ Clears Ferguson Police Officer
on March 4, 2015 8:38 PM
- IDF to Split Tel Aviv’s Missile Warning System
on March 4, 2015 8:29 PM
- 2 Islamic Holidays to Close NYC Public Schools Next Year
on March 4, 2015 7:22 PM
- A Concrete Proposal
on March 4, 2015 5:05 PM
- Latest Election Poll
on March 4, 2015 4:37 PM
- Al Jazeera Reporter: ‘Bibi Said ISIL and Iran Working Together’
on March 4, 2015 4:27 PM
- Tea Party Radio Host Says Democrats Who Boycotted Bibi Should Be Hanged
on March 4, 2015 12:27 PM
- 24 Firebomb and Rock-Throwing Attacks in One Day
on March 4, 2015 12:10 PM
- New Poll Gives Herzog-Livni 3-Seat Lead but no Coalition
on March 4, 2015 10:10 AM
- Al Arabiya Editor-In-Chief: President Obama, Listen To Netanyahu On Iran
on March 4, 2015 9:39 AM
- Netanyahu Says Israel Can Stand Alone – and Pelosi Turns her Back [video]
on March 4, 2015 9:22 AM
- Jordanian King Warns Global Battle With ISIS Has Launched World War III
on March 4, 2015 4:45 AM
- PA, PLO to Appeal US Court Ruling — ‘No Money to Pay’ Damages to Terror Victims
on March 4, 2015 4:00 AM