'DAILY NEWS' NEW CEO STEPS INTO CIRCULATION WAR

Former NYT Exec Marc Kramer Also Has Labor Experience

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The New York Daily News raided The New York Times to hire Marc Z. Kramer, a former News executive, to fill the vacant post of CEO. Fred Drasner retired as CEO and co-publisher in September 2004.
Marc Z. Kramer
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Mr. Kramer, 50, had been senior VP-circulation at The Times, where he worked in various capacities since 1998. He was VP-general counsel at the News, responsible for labor relations and labor strategy, from 1993 to 1998.

Raiding rivals
His hire adds another chapter in the recent raids by New York newspapers on their rivals. Last week, the New York Post hired Les Goodstein to become a senior VP there; Mr. Goodstein had been president and chief operating officer of the News.

The News is also undergoing a bit of a transition period. Editor in chief Michael Cooke, often a target of unflattering Post items, resigned Dec. 2 after less than a year at the paper; deputy publisher Michael Dunn was then named to the additional post of editor in chief. The News has not named a successor to Mr. Goodstein.

The News is locked in a circulation war with the Post that can be entertaining for readers but is deadly serious in the papers’ executive suites. In the most recent filings with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Daily News reported average paid weekday circulation of 688,584 during the six months ended Sept. 30, a 3.7% decline from the equivalent period one year before. The Post reported average paid weekday circulation of 662,681, down 1.7%.

Labor background
Before joining the newspaper business, Mr. Kramer had previously been labor associate at Proskauer Rose, held ranking posts in New York City’s Office of Labor Relations, and been an adjunct professor of labor law at New York University. Labor relations at the News have been extremely sour at times, particularly in the 1990s, so Mr. Kramer's experience in that field is no doubt viewed as an asset.

“I am delighted that Marc will be leading the management team at the Daily News,” said Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman and publisher, in a statement. “We’ve had many conversations about the future of news and he brings to this position a comprehensive knowledge of all the key elements of the newspaper business, including the technological changes needed in the 21st century.”

Mr. Kramer is charged with expanding the reach and revenue of both the paper’s print and online editions.

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