Jewish World Review April 15, 2002/ 4 Iyar 5762


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Consumer Reports

Tomorrow, The Sun will rise! | The New York Sun, a conservative five-day-a-week broadsheet, edited by Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll, will debut on tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16. The 60,000-distribution daily, the first upmarket editorial competitor (in opinion, if not circulation) to square off against the disintegrating New York Times since The Herald Tribune's demise more than a generation ago, is financed in part by Conrad Black, proprietor of London's superb Telegraph and Jerusalem Post.

As Lipsky, 55-a veteran of The Wall Street Journal and The Forward-admitted to the New York Post's Keith Kelly on April 7, the Sun faces a formidable challenge in the midst of a severe media recession. "It's very risky," he said. "But there is a possibility of success financially and that's an important fact."

In a promotional piece released last week, the editors wrote: "The New York Sun is being launched this spring to fill the need for a serious daily broadsheet that places a priority on news of the city. Its news and feature pages will provide honest and objective daily coverage of the politics and policy debates, the cultural questions, philanthropic trends and spiritual quests of all New Yorkers. Its editorial page will join the debate over the future of New York as a voice for free markets and limited government, for constitutional strength and equality under the law... The New York Sun will aspire to be become the newspaper for serious New Yorkers."

Stoll, 29, in addition to his contributions to the Journal and working with Lipsky at The Forward, has acquired a degree of notoriety for his excellent daily catalogs the contradictions, factual mistakes and escalating hypocrisy of The New York Times.

Last week, a Swiss reporter based in New York called to ask me if I thought the Sun was a vanity enterprise, similar to Mort Zuckerman's Daily News or Arthur Carter's New York Observer. The difference, as I explained, is that Lipsky and Stoll are journalists, as opposed to wealthy men who made their money in different fields and simply desired the ego gratification of owning a newspaper. The Sun is ideologically driven: whether it can succeed or not is open to debate, but it's clearly not a vehicle designed to cadge party invites.

As noted before in this column, I've been invited to contribute on an occasional basis to the Sun, a request that pleases me. But that's a minuscule point-thrown in to squelch the conflict-of-interest police-for knowing the past work of Lipsky and Stoll, this is a newspaper I'm eagerly anticipating.

If you live in NYC, call toll-free at 1-866-NYC-SUN1 for home distribution. They're offering a special trial offer. Out-of-staters desiring mail delivery can call the same number or write the subscription manager: The New York Sun, 105 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007.

{Editor's Note: In either case, please tell them, Jewish World Review sent you.}

JWR contributor "Mugger" -- aka Russ Smith -- is the editor-in-chief and CEO of New York Press ( Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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© 2002, Russ Smith