Page Six Editor Leaves. End of the Line for the 'New York Post'?

Richard Johnson New York PostA little advice to those who work at the New York Post: Make sure you don't leave your resume on the printer today. I'm assuming you'll be updating it after hearing the news that Richard Johnson, longtime editor of the "Page Six" gossip column, is leaving to work on digital initiatives for News Corp. (NWS), the Post's parent company, in Los Angeles.

For those into tea leaf reading, it's a strong indication that owner Rupert Murdoch's patience with the tabloid may be approaching its inevitable end. Murdoch certainly isn't keeping the Post around for its contribution to the corporate coffers: The paper reportedly loses around $70 million a year. He hangs onto it, instead, for its influence, and it's chiefly through two sections that that influence extends beyond New York: its business pages and its gossip column.

However, the Post's business reporting, historically aggressive though it's been, was rendered an afterthought in 2007 by Murdoch's purchase of The Wall Street Journal. That leaves "Page Six" as its chief national raison d'etre. Yet, as the Village Voice's Foster Kamer points out, that all-important franchise is now in the hands of three writers who've been there for a combined total of around two years.

Of course, there are other ways to read the move. It may be that Murdoch felt he had to find a way to mollify Johnson after blocking him from taking a million-dollar job with The Hollywood Reporter over the summer. Murdoch has a reputation for keeping faith with his favorite newspapermen, and Johnson, after 25 years of combat service at the Post, had the right to ask for a change of scenery. Murdoch also has big, if vague, plans for a new national iPad-based newspaper, which Johnson, in his new role, will be involved with.

But a Post without a punchy, must-read "Page Six" is a Post that has a perilously tenuous argument for continued existence -- especially when Murdoch is simultaneously pouring money into establishing a second local-news beachhead with the Journal's "Greater New York" section.

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bobrav

Literally and figuratively speaking, there will be at lot less garbage to throw away.

October 11 2010 at 8:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
REDTARA

YES I AGREE ABOUT THE POST, HOWEVER SOMETIMES THEY REALLY GET SOME GOOD DIRT ON CORRUPT POLITIANS.

October 09 2010 at 11:54 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
howwil

The demise of the Post will be no great loss. It is a trashy tabloid paper with almost no real news, mostly just sensationalism and reactionary political blather. "We distort, you believe."

October 08 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
robertbobby58

I'M A Transplanted NEW YORKER now living in Md.The NYP is not losing money from lack of advertising.They are losing out on circulation because of tacky cartoon,when Obama became president.When the two white police officers stood over a dead ape.One saying to the other"who's going to write the stimulus package now.That was very disrepectful,why because McCann did'nt win the election.

October 08 2010 at 9:07 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to robertbobby58's comment
bobrav

That's the reason and no other? I see........

October 11 2010 at 8:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply