‘News’ scoops its Page 8 story with a story on Page 4

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Outgoing 'Daily News' editor Kevin Convey. (Daily News.)
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The contest among a handful of fancy universities vying to be picked to build Mayor Bloomberg's so-called "genius school" on Roosevelt Island is a big story.

In today's Daily News, it inadvertently played even bigger: The same story about the latest development in the competition—a declaration by Cornell's president to the paper's editorial board that Cornell is "the most logical choice"—is featured twice.

"Can't decide which version I like better," WNYC producer Jody Avirgan tweeted when he spotted and photographed the duplicate stories.

The first occupies most of the real estate on page 4 under the headline, "IVY: PAINT CITY RED," and the subhead, "Cornell prez sez upstate school's plan pure 'genius'." The photo shows Cornell President David Skorton stating his case for editorial board members.

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The second version appears on page 8, in a smaller treatment, with the headline, "We're the Big Red ones for Genius U." There's no subhead, but the same photo is used.

The text of both versions is identical. It reads in part:

Cornell has launched a media blitz in recent weeks, unveiling several details of its plan to build a state-of-the-art tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

Lured by the promise of free land and a $100 million grant, Cornell is among an impressive roster of top universities vying to set up an applied-sciences campus in the city.

The deadline for proposals is tomorrow, and Mayor Bloomberg is expected to announce the winner by year's end.

So what happened here?

"We're in the process of transitioning to a new content management system," Daily News spokeswoman Jennifer Mauer said. "So there was a bit of glitch that caused a technical error."

She said the error appears in some, but not all editions of the paper circulating today. (We spotted it in the sports final.)

While we had her, we asked about some of the reported turbulence at the paper. Longtime senior managing editor Stuart Marques was fired on Oct. 14. And yesterday, speculation resurfaced that editor-in-chief Kevin Convey, a Boston Herald alumnus who took the reins of the News last summer after Martin Dunn stepped down because his wife had become ill, may himself be on the way out the door.

"The rumor du jour is that Convey will be replaced by Editorial Page Editor Arthur Browne," Keith Kelly reported in rival tabloid The New York Post.

Asked whether this was true, Mauer cited a policy of not commenting on personnel matters, but said: "It's an unfounded rumor."

Convey, for his part, didn't come off as an editor whose days are numbered during a live chat with readers this afternoon.

"We're in the midst of a reorganization right now to bring the print and web staffs together for the first time, make the company digital first, and make all of our content platform-agnostic," he said.

One reader asked how the Daily News can improve its coverage of New York City.

"We're always looking for ways to get better," Convey replied, "and I think one way to do that is to continue to emphasize the need for enterprise reporting and meaty stories that affect the lives of our readers. By the way, I do think our coverage of the neighborhoods of New York City is pretty damned good already."

He said he'd be back on Tuesday, Nov. 22 to answer more questions.

Daily News brass are eagerly awaiting the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which come out on Tuesday. As of March, the News had an average total weekday circulation of 530,924. The Post was breathing down its neck, with 522,874.