N.Y. TABS TALKED OF ALLIANCE

By: Lucia Moses

But No Marriage Anytime Soon



New York Daily News Co-Publisher Mortimer B. Zuckerman says he’s ‘very
happy’ running an independent newspaper and doesn’t foresee reviving
discussions with its rival New York Post about sharing operations to cut
costs.



‘We had a few brief talks,’ Zuckerman says. ‘It didn’t go anywhere. We
haven’t had talks for months. From our point of view, it makes more sense to
be independent. I love the Daily News , and I want to work on it.’



The Wall Street Journal first reported Friday that the tabloids, famous for
their snappy headlines, had discussed combining some operations. Zuckerman
tells E&P the talks were initiated by the Post , although Post Publisher Ken
Chandler says the Daily News made the first move, asking if the Post would be
interested in discussing a joint operating agreement.



The privately owned Daily News has weathered bankruptcy, union conflicts, and
cash-flow problems over the past decade. It lost money in 1998, despite a
$19-million personal contribution from Zuckerman. The Post , owned by Rupert
Murdoch’s News Corp., doesn’t release financial figures but reportedly is losing
money.



In one of a shrinking number of competitive newspaper markets, the Daily News is
winning the circulation war, but in the six months ended Sept. 30, daily sales were
down 3% to 701,831 while the Post gained 0.15% to 438,158.



A collaboration might make financial sense, but is it realistic? ‘There’s no way
the boss, Rupert, would do a deal to save Morty,’ a Post staffer says. ‘He just
loves running the paper.’



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Lucia Moses (luciam@mediainfo.com ) is associate editor for
Editor & Publisher magazine.








(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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