The New York Times is reporting some bad news for Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post:
“Three years ago Col Allan, the editor of The New York Post, pumped his fist and waded into a cheering crowd at a Midtown restaurant, celebrating The Post’s overtaking its rival, The Daily News, in weekday circulation. The Post trumpeted the news on a Times Square billboard and in its pages.” […] “Mr. Allan, who called it ‘a joyous occasion’ when The Post took the lead, now takes a more subdued view of the competition, saying in an e-mail exchange that ‘whether we are a little in front or a little behind has no impact on our forward business plan.'”
This turnaround in attitude is the result of a 30% drop in circulation for the Post in the past two and a half years. That is a bigger and faster decline than most of his competitors in a time of difficulty for the entire industry. This loss of readers comes on top of the paper losing approximately $50 million a year for the past ten years. Sources for the Times put the figure this year at $70 million. One must wonder how long Murdoch will tolerate such losses. He has shown in the past great patience for money-losing operations. He deficit financed Fox News for five years. He has been losing money on both MySpace and the Fox Business Network for two years. He doesn’t seemed to be the least bit phased by Glenn Beck’s loss of some 80 advertisers.
What this demonstrates is that Murdoch is not just the greedy media baron some think. He obviously is committed to his ideologies and the “news” enterprises that disseminate them. And if it costs him a few tens of millions of dollars, so be it.