• Of the top twenty American newspapers, the circulation of New York ones suffered less than others over the past few years. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• We hear ... that gossip Website Jossip.com is up for sale. [NYP]
• And that ESPN The Magazine is beefing up its fashion coverage. [WWD]
Newspapers face all sorts of problems, not insignificant among them that younger people don't so much read the paper. Then today we saw the cover story of the "Metro" section, "Welcome, Students. Now Watch It," geared toward the college students — and, we should think, potential new Times readers — newly arrived in the city. It includes such useful tips as "Don't fall asleep on the subway," "Don't play chess for money with the hustlers in Washington Square Park," and "Don't drink too much beer and use the street as a toilet." Plus, this gem, from the end of the "Don't light up in a bar" tip: "And besides, if you’re not 21, you shouldn’t be in a bar anyway." We have no idea why "Make sure to clean your room" and "Just say no" weren't included as tips, but, yeah, we think we understand why kids don't read the paper.
Welcome, Students. Now Watch It [NYT]
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Lost in all the Wall Street Journal drama is the news of Rupert Murdoch getting his paws on another bastion of American journalism: The Onion. The beloved if slightly over-the-hill humor newspaper has signed on to provide exclusive content to MySpace, including audio podcasts and video from its misbegotten Onion News Network offshoot. The paper announced the partnership via press release filled with the usual barrage of jokes — and with a buzz-kill addendum ("the foregoing is a satirical press release published by MySpace, Inc…") that suggests the big-league nature of the deal. Despite its shaggy pose, the Onion boasts dead-serious print circulation (3 million copies) and online traffic (4 million visitors each month). One can't help but feel troubled, though. The newspaper industry's panicked attempts to branch out into every new platform from social networks to mobile phones should be prime satire fodder; the Onion, in doing the same thing with the same zeal (anyone remember "The Onion on Your PDA" ads?), is losing just a bit of its outsider soul every time it oh-so-self-effacingly bites a new fad.
The Onion Brings Its Irreverent Satire to MySpace [News.com]
Earlier: New ‘Onion’ Fake News: Actually Fake, Not So FunnyREAD MORE »
A day after the Times debuted its new, slimmed-down format, the Post today reports that the Gray Lady is set to shed something else: TimesSelect. As soon as some technical kinks are worked out, Murdoch's paper says, the two-year-old experiment will end and your Maureen Dowd will, once again, be gloriously free. So what to think of its brief life? Is TimesSelect slightly random in its border delineation, unfair to op-ed columnists, and above all annoyingly orange? Sure. But is it a failure? Not exactly.
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