Former 'Daily News' COO to Serve as Adviser to Rival 'Post'

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NEW YORK ( -- In hiring a veteran New York Daily News executive yesterday, News Corp. acknowledged in an odd way that “The Snooze” has been doing something right.
Les Goodstein, president-chief operating officer of the 'Daily News,' has been hired by News Corp to fill the newly created post of senior VP. There, he will serve as an advisor to 'Daily News' rival the 'New York Post.'

The Rupert Murdoch conglomerate hired Les Goodstein, president-chief operating officer of the Daily News, to fill a newly created post, senior VP, News Corp., where he will be responsible for new-business development and serve as an adviser to the New York Post and other company divisions.

28-year 'News' vet
Mr. Goodstein, 54, spent the last 28 years with the Daily News, rising through the ad sales ranks and gaining posts like exec VP-associate publisher before assuming his most recent position, in which he was responsible for running most operations.

“What Les does so well is match his love of this city with his innate instincts for what will resonate with New Yorkers,” said Paul Carlucci, chairman-CEO, News America Marketing, and publisher, New York Post, to whom Mr. Goodstein will report effective Jan. 3.

It is usually impossible to discern any respect at the Post for the paper that Mr. Goodstein has been helping to lead; the Post more often stokes New York’s tabloid newspaper war with name-calling. Its November article about newspaper circulation was headlined, “Snooze’s Circulation Hits an All-Time Low.” (That article noted that Mr. Goodstein did not return calls seeking comment.)

Circulation declines
Indeed, the Daily News has been locked in a circulation war with the Post. 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%.

Less than a month earlier, a Post editorial knocked the News for failing to take sides in the battle over a planned International Freedom Center at Ground Zero: “The Snooze sat on the fence for months, scratching its head, wondering if some compromise could be worked out.”

Mr. Goodstein’s departure comes at a time of transition for the News, which is owned by Mort Zuckerman. Editor in chief Michael Cooke, himself a target of unflattering Post items, resigned Dec. 2 after less than a year at the paper; his duties have been picked up by editorial director Michael Dunn. The News has not named a successor to Mr. Goodstein.

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