Colin Myler, last editor of the the News of the World , now editor of the New York Daily News, is making headlines today in his posh city rival the New York Times .
The reason for the article is Myler's targeting by the Commons Select Committee on phone-hacking , which concluded he had misled them about his knowledge of the illegal behavior, "which puts him at risk of being cited for contempt of Parliament," said the Times.
But if you thought the Times was also going to target the Liverpudlian, you're wrong. The article comes into the category of "grudging admiration."
The Times says , "As a newspaper editor who has commanded troops on both sides of New York’s pungent tabloid wars, Colin Myler has always shown a thirst for the eye-popping story and a willingness to take the heat to run something that will sell, sell, sell."
The Times then tells us what he is doing for New York.
"In the four months since he became editor of The Daily News, Mr. Myler, 59, has made it clear that he identifies with the sensibilities of the common man."
When a jury was unable to reach a full verdict in the trial of a police officer charged with raping a teacher, the front-page headline in The Daily News screamed, “What Does a Woman Have to Do to Prove She Was Raped?”
On another cover story, on teachers accused of unseemly conduct (the Times phrase) with students, the headline read: “FIRE ’EM! Exposed: Perv Teachers Still on Payroll.”
Myler declined to comment on the London slating, beyond a statement saying he stood by his testimony and expected to be exonerated.
Mort Zuckerman,owner of The Daily News, said he had “total confidence” in Mr. Myler and believed subsequent information would clear him. It’s not the only report that will be out,” . Zuckerman said.
Nothing on hacking was published on the Daily News website.
The Times took us back to Britain for a couple of Colin's blasts from the past:
In 1993, he caused "considerable national agitation" said the Times publishing pictures in The Sunday Mirror of Princess Diana working out at a gym. The hidden-camera photographs had been bought from a gym owner .
In April 2001, he ran an article that raised racism as a potential motive of two footballers charged with attacking a Pakistani fan. The judge ruled the article had poisoned the trial and ordered a retrial. Myler quit the paper.
Rupert Murdoch to the rescue. He hired Myler as one of the top editors at The New York Post. Not in charge - but "back chasing news," said the Times.
Finally it was back to Britain to run Murdoch's News of the World, after the phone hacking had been stopped. On the day the NotW printed its final edition, Myler addressed the staff, “In a career that has not been too bad, I’ve managed to take most papers down in circulation,” he said. “I’ve never managed to close one.”
For three months, he did not work. Then Zuckerman invited him "back into New York’s tabloid caldron, this time with the opposition," says the Times.
The Times says, "In his brief time at the helm of The Daily News, Mr. Myler has made a visible mark. The paper seems to have been redirected toward hard news, under headlines consistent with the crusading, provocative, profane school of British tabloid journalism."
Last week was a good example. A cover story on the Secret Service prostitution scandal ran beneath the headline:
Memo to the Colombian Ambassador Who Doesn’t Accept America’s Apology for Agents’ Hooker Scandal ...
The accompanying picture was of the woman suspected of being at the center of the scandal, wearing a skimpy bikini.
Mort Zuckerman said he felt Myler had made The Daily News “much, much more engaging, more powerful, more lucid, more consistent; and it’s called talent.”
Not everyone agrees, especially if you ask people at The Post, says the Times.
“I think it’s trying to ramp up the emotional content, grab you by the lapel and tell you how you feel about the stories,” said Michael Goodwin, a Daily News journalist of 16 years who is now The Post’s chief political columnist.
“Is it working? I don’t understand what the message is, other than, ‘We’re bolder and brasher and more liberal.’ ”
Colleagues called Mr. Myler very hands-on. “He looks at every page and makes suggestions on every page,” one said.
He comes in early and leaves late, and he expects the same of everyone else. “It’s been very much an 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. type of regime,” a former Daily News staff member said.
“He’s an old-school tabloid guy,” the former staff member added. “It’s tough. It’s war of attrition. If you don’t like it, there’s no lock on the exit door.”
From the point of view of a life-long journalist I feel I have to say; "Score One for Colin."
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