Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mort Zuckerman's `U.S. News & World Report'-`NY Daily News' Media Power Historically

Under U.S. anti-trust law, it may not have been really legally proper in the 1990s for just one multi-millionaire to monopolize ownership of both a two-million-plus circulation newsweekly magazine and a supposedly competing major New York City metropolitan daily newspaper—with the same corporate executives running both mass media properties. Yet Mort Zuckerman was allowed to use about $36.5 million of his surplus wealth to take over the New York Daily News in the early 1990s. So you aren’t likely to read many satirical expose’s of U.S. News & World Report in the Daily News.

After moving into his New York Daily News office in January 1993, Zukerman then immediately “fired 180 out of 540 members of the Newspaper Guild,” “axed two-thirds of the African-American reporters, including all black males” and “dismissed veteran reporter Dave Hardy, who was one of the black journalists who won a racial discrimination suit against the newspaper in 1987,” according to the Daily News Workers Campaign for Justice, which was urging people in New York City to boycott Zuckerman’s Daily News in 1993.

One reason why NBC News may not have been too interested in talking too much in the early 1990s about either how Zuckerman acquired his $265 million or about U.S. News & World Report’s historic FBI connection was perhaps because U.S. News & World Report also had a business relationship with the supposedly competing NBC in the late 1980s. In its Oct. 18. 1989 issue, the Wall Street Journal noted that “The Consumer News and Business Channel cable network and U.S. News & World Report have formed a joint venture to produce cable program versions of special issues of the magazine” and “CNBC is a joint venture of the National Broadcasting Co. and Cablevision Systems corp.” The Wall Street Journal also reported that “the program will be written and produced by CNBC, with background and research provided by staff for U.S. News & World Report.”

(Downtown 4/14/93)