October 07, 2003

In a New York Minute - 16.7 of Them

New York's the place to be for newspaper junkies.

The Daily News has brought back tabloid über-editor Martin Dunn in an effort to regain the subway momentum from the Post, whose circulation is up (to 620,000) 20 percent in the last couple of years.

A kinder, gentler New York Times, led by the King of Calm, Bill Keller, is once again encouraging journalists instead of dramatists.

A revolución is underway in Spanish, with the Newsday spinoff Hoy approaching 100,000 readers and the nation's oldest Spanish-language daily, El Diario-La Prensa, losing its editor in a tiff over a spiked Fidel Castro column.

Now, two more newspapers are coming to Manhattan - amNewYork and New York Metro, a pair free tabloids designed to catch the quick, the young and those with short attention spans (categories that may be overlapping).

amNewYork is partly financed by the Tribune Company, which owns Newsday and Hoy, and New York Metro is part of the Swedish-based chain of commuter papers that publishes in 16 countries. (Here's Toronto's.)

The company claims 12.3 million readers for its 25 editions of the newspaper, which it says "can be read in a 16.7 minute commute."

That's more than three times as long as the "Five-Minute Herald," the condensed version of the Miami Herald designer Mario Garcia crammed together for the "supersonic-speed reader."

Poynter Institute's Roy Peter Clark writes about reading times today, keying on a 1940s magazine, Liberty, that printed each article's estimated reading time under the headline. An example: "'No More Glitter: A Searching Tale of Hollywood and a Woman's Heart,' Reading Time: 18 minutes, 45 seconds."

Clark says the reading rate benchmark is 200 words a minute. So, using this formula (and borrowing a bit from Clark), the Five-Minute Herald should have 1,000 words, the New York Metro should have no more than 3,340 words to meet the company's projected commute time, and you should have finished reading this piece (334 words) in 100 seconds.

 New York Daily News Free AM papers gird for NY battle

Posted by Tim Porter at October 7, 2003 08:19 AM