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 email@example.com.
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.
- Cardin to Introduce New Legislation to Strengthen Insupportable Iran Deal
on September 4, 2015 9:37 PM
- Cardiff Kills Exhibition of Jews, Muslims, Christians Playing Together Because It Was Shot in Israel
on September 4, 2015 5:04 PM
- A Tale of Two Prayers: Muslims and Clinton vs. Jews and Psalms [video]
on September 4, 2015 1:08 PM
- ‘Catch-22″ Comes to the Temple Mount
on September 4, 2015 10:26 AM
- Biden Tells Atlanta Jews ‘Honest to God, I Don’t Know If I Will Run’ [video]
on September 4, 2015 10:12 AM
- ‘Lone Soldiers’ Get a Treat in ‘Fun Day’ At Water Park
on September 4, 2015 9:12 AM
- British MP Accuses UK of Supporting Iran ‘at Expense of Allies’
on September 4, 2015 8:52 AM
- Cory Booker + 2 More Senators Announce Support for Nuclear Iran Deal
on September 4, 2015 1:30 AM
- Netanyahu, Kahlon Cut Taxes to Spur Sluggish Economy
on September 3, 2015 11:00 PM
- Attempted Lynch Attack on 5 US Jewish Tourists in Hebron, Saved by Local Arab
on September 3, 2015 8:03 PM
- A Jewish Family’s Search To Save a Daughter With Familial Disautonomia
on September 3, 2015 7:23 PM
- Head of Joint Arab List Hospitalized with Chest Pain
on September 3, 2015 6:28 PM
- Pres. Rivlin Meets in State Visit with Pope Francis at Vatican
on September 3, 2015 6:08 PM
- French Investigators Rule ‘No Evidence’ Yasser Arafat Murdered
on September 3, 2015 3:48 PM
- Analysis: New Pew Report Has Seen the Jewish American Future and It’s Orthodox
on September 3, 2015 3:08 PM