‘We’re not gonna win many’: Retiring ‘Post’ editor Bob McManus on getting heard in New York

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Bob McManus' nearly 30-year career at the New York Post, and his 12-year stint running the paper's editorial page, will come to an end when he retires on January 10.

But McManus won't be disappearing: He hopes to continue writing a column for the Post, he said on state editor Fred Dicker's daily radio show this morning, in addition to whatever else is next.

"I've been talking to a number of different people about a number of different things," he said.

Dicker announced on Tuesday that McManus would soon be retiring, bringing to an end his direction of an editorial page that has reflected his own conservative ideology over the years as much as it has that of the paper's owner, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch.

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Dicker asked whether his decision to retire had anything to do with frustration at being a voice of conservative opinion in one of the country's most liberal cities.

"We're not gonna win many, but we've had a great deal of influence on the debate over the years," said McManus. "I think the coverage we gave to some of the shortcomings in the Dinkins administration ... led to, or certainly influenced, the election of Rudy Giuliani. So I certainly did not feel frustrated that we rarely got what we explicitly asked for in our editorials. All I've ever wanted was to have some influence, and I think to that extent we've been successful."

Dicker, who has a longstanding, close professional relationship with Governor Andrew Cuomo, also asked McManus how he would respond to criticism that the Post's editorial page has been too hard on the governor.

"We have a job to do," said McManus. "It's not our job to be lionizing people when they do the things they were hired to do. We do our best to be balanced, but it's our job to point out what we think the shortcomings are. It's not limited to one individual or one administration. Everybody gets it."

What will McManus miss most about the job?

"The opportunity to sit down with incredibly smart people," he said, citing conversations he's had with Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. "You sort of get to have this fly-on-the-wall sensibility."

McManus will be succeeded by William McGurn, a columnist for the Post's sister paper The Wall Street Journal, who previously served as a speechwriter for Murdoch and George W. Bush.