Colin Myler Editor in Chief, New York Daily News
Grove, Lloyd, Newsweek
Byline: Lloyd Grove
A top Murdoch star dumps on Rupe's son, then defects to a rival. Fleet Street on the Hudson.
The media mob's eyebrows were collectively elevated on Jan. 4, when Daily News owner Mortimer B. Zuckerman named Englishman Colin Myler as the 92-year-old tabloid's latest editor in chief--the 11th since the New York real-estate magnate bought the paper in 1993.
The appointment of the hot-tempered Liverpudlian--a creature of Fleet Street who ran the Sunday Mirror and Daily Mirror and then was a top editor at Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, the Daily News's chief rival, before returning to London in 2007 to lead Murdoch's scandal-tarred News of the World--can be seen as Zuckerman's attempt to solve his paper's identity crisis by turning it, once and for all, into a full-throated yellow tabloid.
But Zuckerman argues otherwise. "He's not going to go downmarket," he says. "He's a great tabloid editor and he's going to stay within the standards of the marketplace. What I hope he will do is put out a great tabloid newspaper in the Daily News tradition." Zuckerman declines to describe that tradition. "Just read the last 75 years of the newspaper."
For jaded News veterans--who, like their counterparts at other dailies, have endured draconian budget cuts in recent years--Myler's first day on the job (Jan. 10) was a case of here-we-go-again. "People are shellshocked," one tells Newsweek. "The newspaper business is a miserable business."
But for excited onlookers, Myler's arrival signals Zuckerman's declaration of war on Murdoch's News Corp., which owns the Post. The 59-year-old Myler, in his last job, presided unwillingly over the abrupt shutdown of the criminally implicated News of the World--and then gave damaging testimony against News Corp. executive James Murdoch in the U.K.'s investigation of illegal phone hacking, asserting that Rupert's 39-year-old second son knew much more than he let on about misconduct at Britain's most popular red top. …