Commentary

New 'New York Post' EIC Is Unlikely To Mess With Winning Formula

After Rupert Murdoch's News Corp surprised investors with the announcement the New York Post had turned a profit, it appeared the company had found a winning formula for the tabloid after years of reported losses. The next stage of its transformation under a new editor in chief isn't likely to be that dramatic, considering the NYPalready provides a mix of celebrity gossip and attack pieces on liberals.

Last month, Keith Poole took over as EIC of the New York Post Group, which consists of the daily tabloid and the Post Digital Network. Its online media brands include NYPost.com, PageSix.com for celebrity gossip and the Decider.com pop-culture site.

Previously, Poole was deputy editor in chief of The Sun, the U.K. tabloid also owned by News Corp, and has a strong background in digital publishing. Before joining The Sun in 2016, he worked as a managing editor of The Daily Mail's U.S. website and was credited with helping to boost its online audience.
That experience with digital growth suggests that Poole will be more focused on transforming the NYP's website for readers outside of New York. Instead of organizing its site by sections like breaking news, sports and local news, it could reformat the home page to provide a continual feed of top stories and celebrity gossip for a wider audience. As much as I believe in local coverage as a way for newspapers to differentiate themselves from national media outlets, the audience for stories about subway crime and city politics is limited.
Poole is still in the early stages of getting to know the NYP and its staff since taking the top job last month. He hasn't hosted a video call with staff or sent out an email greeting to announce his arrival, The New York Times reported last week, citing two employees at the NYP. Instead, Poole has been meeting with staff individually — in person, by video call or on the phone since most people are working from home, a spokesperson said.

Poole's approach to introducing himself to key people and getting to know the organization before making a big announcement is a good idea. And I'm speaking from my experience of being called to all-hands-on-deck meetings with new managers who were unable to answer questions about their plans or showed a disconcerting lack of knowledge about the editorial product. It's better to instill confidence that's grounded in familiarity with the organization and its challenges.

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