New York newspaper war heats up

Will the New York Times’ freshly-revamped online business section steal readers from financial behemoth the Wall Street Journal? The NYT’s aggressive business coverage is just the latest tactic in the city’s storied newspaper war: the paper, amidst much-publicized downsizing, has been silently hiring reporters and editors to boost its business coverage, which is supplemented by Dow Jones content.
The New York Times
The timing couldn’t be better: less than a month ago The Wall Street Journal announced a hostile takeover of the Big Apple’s metro coverage with the launch of a New York edition, due to launch in the next couple of weeks.
“Let’s face it, our biggest competitor has always been The Wall Street Journal,” Larry Ingrassia, business editor for the NYT, said to Ad Age. “That’s even more so now since Rupert Murdoch acquired the company. We recognized that we had to be extra sharp and redouble our efforts at competing.”

Last month, Rupert Murdoch announced thThe Wall Street Journale launch of a New York edition of WSJ–with a $15-million budget–that will compete aggressively on NYT‘s turf.

Murdoch spoke with the Real Estate Board of New York:

“Now, I’ve always believed that competition starts at home. So in the next few weeks, one of our other papers will be giving the Post some competition on their home turf. I’m talking about the Wall Street Journal.

You’ve probably already read a little about the new section on New York we’ll be launching next month. Let me tell you how different that alone makes us. I challenge you to find a story about newspapers today that isn’t about reducing coverage, laying off reporters, or cutting back on delivery services. When you open up a paper today, the most depressing news is often about newspapers themselves.

Here in New York, we’re doing just the opposite. We’re adding a whole new section and taking on reporters and editors. We believe that in its pursuit of journalism prizes and a national reputation, a certain other New York daily has essentially stopped covering the city the way it once did. In so doing, they have mistakenly overlooked the most fascinating city in the world – and left the interests and concerns of people like you far behind them. I promise you this: The Wall Street Journal will not make that mistake.”

He didn’t give specifics, but he did say the new section would Murdoch did go into further details, but did confirm that the new section “will be full color — and it will be feisty.” reports:

The Times stopped running their metro section in 2008, instead combining their local news with national and international stories in the newspaper’s A section. The Times has also starting several hyperlocal blogs like The Local, a collaborative effort with the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Despite changes in the newsroom, the paper’s metro reporters recently broke the scandal involving New York Governor David Paterson, to much acclaim across the industry.

The New York Observer reported last December that the Journal had hired John Seeley, a former editor at The New York Sun, to run the new section. The Sun, a local newspaper with a conservative tilt, closed in 2008.”