By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Mort's Made Man
Last week, the Times chastised the Daily News for using advertorial copy to kiss up to supermarket chains, after the News had criticized those same chains in an investigative news story. But that's just one example of how far publisher Mort Zuckerman will go to cultivate advertisers, even as he is laying off scores of editorial employees.
On June 3, the Sunday Daily News ran a 24-page ad supplement featuring John Rosatti, owner of the Plaza Auto Mall in Brooklyn, who was named one of the News' "2001 Auto All-Stars." Following four full ad pages for Plaza Auto Mall, a fawning advertorial praised Rosatti as a "movie-star handsome," charismatic guy who raced Corvettes and speedboats in his youth and who now "builds success one customer at a time."
But Rosatti has another side altogether. As the Voice's William Bastone reported in 1994, the sexy car dealer is also a Colombo crime family soldier whose underworld jobs include financing gang wars and providing no-show jobs for fellow mobsters. (The source was FBI memos; Rosatti's lawyer had no comment.)
In February of this year, the News' Joe Mahoney reported that Rosatti, an "alleged organized crime figure," had been fined $774,000 for illegally extending his backyard into the wetlands of Jamaica Bay.
Daily News spokesman Ken Frydman said, "We don't comment on our advertisers and we don't discuss our editorial process."