'Daily News' scored P.R. victory with papers on the field as Giants celebrated, but were those papers 'real'?
2:54 pm Jan. 26, 2012
A reader pointed us to a slideshow that went up a little after midnight Monday on the Daily News website following the Giants' Super Bowl-securing victory over the San Francisco ’49ers.
It was an away game that ended around 10:40 p.m. New York time, but somehow, just as the team started celebrating on the field, someone from the News was on hand with copies of Monday's paper, the cover of which celebrated the Giants' win.
A News photographer snapped at least four shots of elated Giants players posing with the paper, and it was a huge coup to have Hakeem Nicks holding it up on live television in front of tens of millions of viewers.
But it was the caption of the second photo in the slideshow that really caught our attention.
"The Daily News front page is such a hot item following Sunday’s NFC Championship Game that New York Post photographer Anthony Causi (l.) tries to rip it out of the hands of the Giants’ Hakeem Nicks and Eli Manning," the cutline reads. "It’s not the first time the Post has tried to rip off New York’s Hometown Newspaper.”
We had a few questions. First of all, the paper passed around on the field had obviously been printed before the Giants won. (The game even went into overtime.) So was it a “real” paper or a mockup created just for the P.R.?
“Unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to share our trade secrets," a News spokesperson said.
And then, we took a close look at the paper Nicks is holding up and the one we received at our office that day. It’s all very hard to figure out.
For one thing, the headline reads “SUPE’S ON!” which doesn’t appear in any editions of the paper that went to newsstands that we can find. For another, if you look closely, it appears that what Nicks is showing is a two-page spread (see, behind it, the spine of the rest of the tabloid?) Our copy has a sports cover that reads "ONE MORE TYNES."
It’s all just the kind of stunt you’d expect from … The New york Post. And sure enough, ever since ex-Murdoch lieutenant Colin Myler flew over from England earlier this month to take the reins of rival mogul Mort Zuckerman's Daily News, media watchers have been predicting he will lead the charge in a renewed newspaper war with his former employer.
Myler had served as executive editor of the Post in the mid-2000s under Col Allan. More recently, as the last editor-in-chief of News of the World, he became one of the sacrificial lambs offered up by the Murdochs when they shut down the top-selling British tabloid last summer in an effort to mitigate fallout from the phone-hacking scandal that was engulfing their News Corp. empire.
So the thinking is that Myler must be out for blood now that he's at the helm of the Murdochs' no. 1 competitor in the New York news market.
Three weeks into his tenure, no blood has been spilled just yet; though Myler still appears to be settling in. He shows up to work at the crack of dawn and has been busy meeting with the paper's top editors, but has yet to really make the rounds with the rank-and-file, apart from his initial 10-minute newsroom appearance when Zuckerman introduced him over danishes. He's declined interview requests from his chroniclers.
Staffers, meanwhile, have been quietly watching for signs of Myler's Fleet Street sensibilities starting to creep in.
Maybe this is the first one?