It's Alive!: How the New York Post Reinvented Tabloid America

It's Alive!: How the New York Post Reinvented Tabloid America

by Steven Cuozzo
     
 
Despite bankruptcy declarations and a couple of unlikely proprietors—including the outrageous Abe Hirschfeld with his polyester crossword neckties—the New York Post has come back again and again to represent the man on the New York City street. Now, the exectuive editor of the Post provides a spirted and entertaining tale of life at America's most infamous&

Overview

Despite bankruptcy declarations and a couple of unlikely proprietors—including the outrageous Abe Hirschfeld with his polyester crossword neckties—the New York Post has come back again and again to represent the man on the New York City street. Now, the exectuive editor of the Post provides a spirted and entertaining tale of life at America's most infamous—but influential—tabloid.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If only Cuozzo, executive editor of the New York Post, had kept to his mandate to the first half of his subtitle. As a veteran of the tabloid since 1973, he presents an anecdotal history as only an insider can, with verve and detail. But beneath his tale of big stories, crusty characters and the newspaper's roller-coaster ride under a succession of owners (notably Peter Kalikow, the loopy Abe Hirshfeld and Rupert Murdoch), Cuozzo must strenuously justify the Post. "Employing humor and the common touch, it broke the elitist media stranglehold on the national agenda," he declares at the outset. While he remarks accurately that the paper has always been "a partisan organ," he sees little irony in feeding the paper's working-class readers a diet of harsh conservatism and upscale gossip. Of course, he has nothing critical to say about Murdoch, who rescued the paper in 1993. Readers who wonder how a brilliant headline like "Mayflower Madam" came about will find some of Cuozzo's stories worth repeating. But those who lament the tabloidization of American journalismTV is now the culprit, Cuozzo notesmight not find the author's defenses convincing. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
Executive editor Cuozzo offers a surprisingly dignified, un-Post-ian memoir of his paper's fight for survival and the tabloidization of the American media.

In March 1993 the ailing New York Post was fighting for its life. With the end in sight, Cuozzo pulled out all the stops: "We might be dead, world—but oh, baby, they'll remember how we went out! And if we're gonna die after 192 years, damn it, we're gonna rock!" With this bitchin' battle cry, he and a ragged editorial staff coopted the Post's own pages to fight the bankruptcy court that had awarded its ownership to a "buffoon": The tabloid of Alexander Hamilton and Pete Hamill had been passed on to Abe Hirschfeld, a builder of open-air parking lots and Manhattan's Vertical Club gyms. The Times applauded the staff's brassy, pungent rebellion. It had taken a long time to get a good review from the traditional journalistic establishment. Thirteen years earlier, the Columbia Journalism Review had called then-owner Rupert Murdoch's in-your-face tabloid a "force for evil." Cuozzo, who started at the Post as a copy boy in 1972, recounts its journalistic life under five different owners, focusing on Murdoch and real estate entrepreneur Peter Kalikow, who both operated the paper, says Cuozzo, as a symbol of their manhood. From the more sedate remove of his features department, Cuozzo celebrates the testosterone-filled newsroom. He tells how Murdoch brought in Aussie and Fleet Street brawlers and turned longtime owner Dorothy Schiff's "stodgy" liberal paper into the newspaper that humanized the news and "put the nation back in touch with itself." Cuozzo mixes essays on the virtues of tabloids with colorful Post-iana, including the paper's famous headlines (500-lb. sex monster goes free) and its fierce take-no-prisoners rivalry with the New York Daily News.

Cuozzo's is the account of an affable management mensch. It's a great story, but it might be fun to read a spicier version, one as thoroughly uninhibited as the newspaper it celebrates.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812922868
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/18/1996
Pages:
342
Product dimensions:
5.81(w) x 8.58(h) x 1.14(d)

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