Newspaper Wars: The Times vs. The Journal, Day 5
At the end of the first week against the fresh competition of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times has stepped up its game with a renewed determination. Legendary newspaper editor Harold Evans scores Day 5 in the battle for Gotham. Plus, read his scoring of Day 4, Day 3, Day 2, and Day 1.
Day 5 of the tussle for New Yorkers between the invasive Wall Street Journal and the hometown defender, The New York Times, has to go to editor Bill Keller’s Times. Even with the most astute editing and liveliest of writing, it’s hard for the Journal’s Robert Thomson to counter Keller’s heft, especially in arts and sports. The WSJ has a good Weekend section of cultural coverage... a Broadway review of Fences, a couple of book reviews and a piece on Scott Turow's latest thriller, but the Greater New York half-page looks thin for culture vultures against the Times' two 36-page sections. On my rough daily scoring, I give today’s Times 28 points and the Journal 16. For the week, this puts the NYT ahead at 108 points against 96 for the WSJ.
The Journal front page's good news, bad news. Good: Billionaire David Koch is paying for a spectacular remake of the fountains at the entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. Not so good: For Andrew Cuomo, the likely candidate for governor, under criticism for holding on to more than $13 million in money collected to improve the way students are informed of loan options.
Property news remains a strength of the WSJ (jumbo mortgages easier to find; “ Secret Gardens Grow in Hell’s Kitchen” and Hall of Fame footballer Emmitt Smith’s hope to build a hotel in Harlem). But the WSJ keeps missing the hearing on the schoolyard massacre in Newark— “ Survivor Recounts Horror” headlines the Times, or if you like it rich, there’s Murdoch’s own always-juicy New York Post (NY Terror at Hands of Massacre Monsters).
WIDTH OF APPEAL
The WSJ’s Heard and Scene page makes a gallant effort to cover the nightlife.
ORGANIZATION AND DESIGN
Harold Evans, author of two histories of America, just published his memoir, My Paper Chase. Editor at large of The Week, he was editor of The Sunday Times from 1967-81 and The Times from 1981-82, founding editor of Condé Nast Traveler, and president of Random House Trade Group from 1990-97.