Who Reads the Daily News on Saturday?
I have found quite possibly the worst way to spend a dollar in Philadelphia. Buy the Daily News. On Saturday. This past Saturday, it was a whopping 40 pages, including the front and back cover and headline pages. And with very few exceptions, there was absolutely nothing in it that wasn’t in the same day’s Inquirer. The most accessible English translation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace has 1,281 pages, and Amazon is selling it for $14, including shipping. When you do the math, you realize the Saturday DN is twice as expensive as the Greatest Novel Ever Written. Of course the other thing that the Saturday edition of the DN has in common with War and Peace is that hardly anyone really reads it. I’m figuring the new owners of the two papers must have the same problems that the old owners had: how to phase out the Saturday edition. The DN is a read-while-riding SEPTA paper. An on-the-hopper-at-work paper. An over-my-burger-at-a-lunch-counter paper. And all of these activities take place, for the most part, Monday through Friday. I loved the Daily News once. Great and funny writers like Conlin, Stan Hochman, Larry Fields, Pete Dexter. And the headlines! When Marina had Lee exhumed: “Oswald Still Dead!” Or more recently, when Jeff signed Michael: “Hide Your Dogs!” But now? I hate to say it. A combined Philadelphia Daily Inquirer would serve this town just as well. And they should start with Saturday.
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