Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Good Old Fashioned Newspaper War

Shots lobbed from both sides this week in the battle between the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

From the Nation:

"I'm a little puzzled by the Journal's evolving identity," Times executive editor Bill Keller told me in an e-mail. "Some days the front page is mostly general-interest news, like a cross between the Times and USA Today. Then the next day you get a front like today [March 12], when the lead story ("EBay Retreats in Web Retailing") is clearly aimed at core business readers. Some days the tone is FT (a top-of-the-page curtain raiser on the G-20 summit); some days it is tabloid populist (lashing the million-dollar-bonus recipients at Merrill). If the paper has made up its mind what it wants to be, it's not clear to me. Maybe they hope we'll all keep reading just to see how they resolve their identity crisis."

But the Wall Street Journal fired back in its Overheard part of the Heard on the Street Page:

Stop the presses -- I want to get off! Harbinger Capital Partners and its "dissident" friends have watched helplessly as their almost 20% stake in the New York Times has fallen faster than the beleaguered paper's circulation. But, hark, one hears the footsteps of a well-heeled angel who may well have put that stake in play.

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