• More trouble at Condé Nast: Ad pages at Vogue are down 31 percent this year and Vanity Fair experienced a 52 percent drop in May alone. The silver lining: Graydon Carter's lavish expense account remains unaffected. [NYP]
• The Sun really may be returning after all. As a website, that is. Seth Lipsky says "there's a business plan for the site in the formative stages." [Politico]
• This certainly isn't a good sign: It seems NBC is exploring the possibility of leasing out part of its headquarters in Washington D.C. [NYO]
• More desperate: NBC will air another season of Celebrity Apprentice. [THR]
• The Portfolio names/logos that never were (and more on its closing). [NYO]
• Al Roker will co-host a Weather Channel show called Wake Up With Al from 6 to 7 a.m. Because waking up with Al is what you've always dreamed of. [NYT]
• Oprah Winfrey's Twitter usage is way down. So much for that! [AdAge]
Hey, the New York Sun is dead. Sad! It was a newspaper, and we all love newspapers. Their editorial stance was despicable, but they had a great sports section. We've been through all this already. No point in dredging up old fights. But! There are still stories about Sun founder and editor Seth Lipsky that are maybe worth your attention. Like did you know he stole everyone's lunch?
You may recall that extinct neoconservative vanity paper New York Sun used to run a little telemarketing scam in which it claimed to be a "snapshot" or "smaller version" of the Times. Misleading and dishonest, right? But there was a clue this was coming: The original incarnation of the Sun, which the new Sun zealously aped (save for certain inconvenient political positions), also scammed people. This fact was lost to history until a summer 1944 Sun sales rep described the setup, which involved the Lost & Found ads traditionally used to find pets and wedding rings and so forth. From a letter to the editor in the Times:
The Times finally found space to publish a nice, chummy editorial bemoaning the death of the "lively.... handsome... muckraking" New York Sun. The loss of the neoconservative broadsheet is especially sad, the Times added, because internet journalism is very confusing and hard to navigate and just generally terrifying, unlike the Sun, which again is quite pretty and edited by a swell guy called Seth Lipsky. Glossed over was Lipsky's utter shortsightedness as both a civic observer and a businessman. And though the Times editorial board has long fancied itself a staunch defender of the First Amendment, it failed completey to note the Sun's revolting 2003 editorial calling anti-war protestors treasonous and saying they should be muzzled, spied upon and perhaps thrown in jail. Slate accurately labeled it "fascist" at the time, and a tipster this week reminded us of its existence. Some highlights:
"Not once did we consider asking Washington to bail out the Sun," proclaimed the conservative New York newspaper in a deathbed editorial this morning that cited the importance of adhering to its highminded free-market "principles." But it turns out that they did almost precisely that kind of! See, some of the Sun's capitalist backers had a bunch of money invested in the private equity firm Cerberus, which controls the auto financing firms Chrysler Financial and GMAC. (And also, owns Chrysler itself, which was also a bad idea.) Auto financing firms are sitting on truckloads of car loans gone bad in no small part because people can't get home equity loans to pay them off like they used to, which is (a major reason) why the whole auto industry has gone to shit. So…guess which struggling private equity firm was about to get some major R-O-L-A-I-D-S from that big communist bailout bill all those ideological comrades of the Sun just voted down?Yup! Cerberus! Oh well, that's the free market! Says a source: "[Sun Editor Seth] Lipsky gave up trying to raise money after the bailout failed to pass." So it turns out it is not only middle-class social conservatives in Kansas who will vote Republican against their economic self-interest. Zionist New York plutocrat neoconservatives will too. Even if it means silencing their mouthpiece forever! Don't worry, Seth, Republicans will continue doing the talking (out of both sides of their mouths) for you, as conservative columnist David Brooks did today:
When we remember the New York Sun, we'll try to remember the great local reporting and the fantastic sports page and the serious and smart arts coverage. Not so much the ideological inanity and loud constant taking of the precisely wrong side of every important issue of this miserable era. In trying to remember them that way, of course, one is best advised to skip most of their farewell edition. The goodbyes are not self-pitying, at least, but they reveal a newspaper that imagines it had some small role in the destruction of this country while turning a blind eye to the many myriad ways they could've continued on their crusade if they hadn't been so utterly out of touch. The opening of the farewell editorial sets the scene:
Right-leaning daily New York Sun has published its much-anticipated final issue Tuesday, succumbing to financial difficulties seven years after taking up the flag of a conservative paper of the prior two centuries. A Zionist publication founded by a breakaway faction from the Forward, the Sun ended its run at the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It can't be said that the newspaper expected anything other than an uphill battle for survival. The creation of the Sun organization was delayed by the attacks of September 11, 2001 and came at a time when newspapers were already viewed as an endangered species. Losses mounted; if the conservative movement's identity crisis didn't doom the Sun, the Wall Street meltdown certainly did. Despite a 60 percent advertising spike in the paper's final month and a 25 percent increase this year, the paper could not find new investors, editor and co-founder Seth Lipsky told staff in comments reprinted in today's paper. The final issue revels in recent praise for the paper, its hard-won scoops and the peculiar moments one might expect amid such a quixotic effort. Some excerpts are after the jump.
The demise of the (surprisingly beloved [in death, anyway]) conservative daily New York Sun has been reported by us and others a hundred times now. Supposedly this is it for real. Editor Seth Lipsky just made a speech in the Sun's newsroom and tomorrow is the last edition, according to our source. It was supposed to be today, but they held out for a day. Of course then the bailout bill collapsed and the Dow plunged 777 points (!!) and maybe investors aren't so much interested in niche newspapers right now. If you have any details on Lipsky's speech or contributed your remembrances to tomorrow's edition, feel free to share in the comments.
♦ Will Project Runway move to Lifetime from Bravo? NBC won the first legal battle against PR producer Harvey Weinstein on Friday, which means it's not entirely clear where the show will end up. [NYT]
♦ The Sun may publish an issue tomorrow after all. [Portfolio]
♦ Tina Fey to the rescue: Saturday Night Live has seen a major boost in ratings so far this season. [THR]
♦ Vanity Fair on the face-off between Maria Bartiromo and Erin Burnett. [VF]
♦ An Indian version of GQ debuts this month. [Guardian]
♦ Howard Kurtz says unseen clips of Katie Couric's interview with Sarah Palin are on the way; CBS says it has released everything it's got. [HuffPo]
♦ The Times looks back at the drunken career of the Post's Steve Dunleavy, who's retiring after 41 years in the business. [NYT]
♦ The Wall Street Journal has launched a mail-order wine club. Really. [NYT]
We're told a New York Sun editor emailed freelancers to tell them tomorrow will, indeed, see publication of the neoconservative daily's last issue, as previously rumored. At the start of this month, the newspaper said it was desperately seeking cash. It supposedly raised "a lot" of money in the following two weeks, but then came a brutal Wall Street meltdown that appears to have ended any hope for new benefactors. The Sun editor's brief email, forwarded by a tipster, is after the jump.
♦ John McCain canceled his appearance on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman tonight; Keith Olbermann will fill in instead. [HuffPo]
♦ The best (and worst) fall TV show ads. [THR]
♦ The end of the Sun is drawing near; the last paper may be published on Monday. [Gawker]
♦ NBC's Nightly News gained viewers in 2007-08; ABC and CBS both experienced declines. [TV Decoder]
♦ Did Harper's Bazaar photoshop its October cover featuring Kirsten Dunst? [WWD]
♦ Oprah Winfrey will lend her voice to the upcoming Disney flick The Princess and the Frog. [THR]
♦ Ad spending declined by 1.6% in the first half of 2008. [AdAge]
♦ Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho is coming to Broadway. [Variety]
♦ Meet the oldest working reporter in the country. [E&P]