Two dinosaurs fighting over a dodo bird

David Carr has a characteristically wry-on-rye view of the Wall Street Journal’s launch of a New York edition today and the newspaper war that supposedly ensues.

We’re supposed to celebrate newspaper wars. Good ol’ days, remember? But I think this one could be deadly.

These two former giants are fighting over a shrinking pie with no filling. The Times is third in the New York area — much of that in the tri-state suburbs — with 406k daily circulation. The Journal has 294k in the same region. The New York Daily News leads with 570k and the Post with 530k — and they each get most of that in New York City.

The Times has a large reporting staff devoted to New York — it’s big and expensive and hard to cover — and limited local advertising (especially, of course, in classified). Two years ago, I suggested that The Times drop or spin off metro and make itself a truly national newspaper. Maybe if they’d done that — not there was a chance in hell they would have — Murdoch wouldn’t have chosen New York as his battleground with them. But now he has and so now they have to fight. And they’ll carry that fight, they say, to more metro areas (though in Chicago, The Times is working with a not-for-profit partner, reducing costs).

This is not a fair fight since Murdoch doesn’t so much care about making a sustainable business as he does about

  • http://www.thehyperlocalist.com Jennifer Deseo

    “This is not a fair fight since Murdoch doesn’t so much care about making a sustainable business as he does about”

    About what? Don’t leave us hanging, Jarvis!

  • http://knapsack.blogspot.com Jeff

    as he does about . . .”crush(ing) your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.”

    • http://evilpundit.mee.nu/ Evil Pundit

      One of the dinosaurs isn’t doing too badly.

      “In Monday’s report, the Journal once again posted the only gain in circulation among the top 25 newspapers that had comparable figures from a year ago. It grew its circulation 0.5 percent …

      “The Journal is also looking to put itself further ahead of the No. 3 newspaper, The New York Times, which saw an 8.5 percent decline …”

      Why pay for the NYT when you can get press releases from the Democratic Party online for free?

      • http://evilpundit.mee.nu/ Evil Pundit

        Whoops, I meant that to go down the bottom as a separate comment. My bad.

      • http://knapsack.blogspot.com Jeff

        You just wanted to follow the Conan the Barbarian quote . . .

        ;-)

      • http://evilpundit.mee.nu/ Evil Pundit

        True, though I changed my mind, since my comment wasn’t really Conan-relevant. Unfortunately, refreshing the page didn’t reset the comment box as I’d hoped it would.

        Since I’m always about the hate, I’d like to mention that I hate Dino de Laurentiis for messing up the second Conan movie.

  • Simon

    Where’s the rest of this post – behind a paywall???

    • Matthew

      If only the comments had a Facebook Like™ button.

  • Iain

    As he does about finishing a sentence?

  • SgtHulka

    “It’s a smart move. Tesio was always smarter”.

    It’s about market share and I agree, nobody is more ruthless about grabbing it than Murdoch.

    Lucky for him, he’s up against the cluelessly pompous – Pinch Sulzberger.

  • http://Jonathonsciola.com Jonathon Sciola

    about…is the previous post. Love the title. “Two dinosaurs fighting over a dodo bird”. Couldn’t be more true. I felt the same way when a University board member was discussing opening an new campus oversees rather than considering an online model. This is while they build another 200 million dollar building that people from all over the world have to fly to, fight over parking and hope they gain entry to the oh so scare resource of information…

  • kris

    … as he does about his own agenda.

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  • http://www.rezyde.com rezyde

    God! Who really reads newspapers! I usually get all of my info from reputable blogs. Plus, why not look cool on the subway and show of your ipad!

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