Post Copies News

For Sports Inserts, It's Déjà Vu All Over Again

By contrast, Yankees Century displays state-of-the-art production values. According to Quebecor account executive Joe Pettit, the Post sent pages via disk to a Quebecor shop in Manhattan, which sent four-color proofs back to the editors for review. The pages were then sent electronically to Quebecor's Connecticut facility, which produced the magazines and delivered them to the Post's printing plant in the Bronx. The Post says it is releasing 700,000 copies of each edition.

But where are they all going? Because Yankees Century is printed separately, the Post has asked some distributors to insert it into the paper. Though the mag is supposed to reach readers in the five boroughs and nearby suburbs, one source cannot find the mag in the suburban edition, and anecdotal reports have it missing from some city editions as well—even turning up, in one case, inside the News.

Media umpires will gloss over these fine points when it comes time to tally up the circulation figures. But a different winner might be declared if editorial quality and profit were factored in. For example, every year, a group called Associated Press Sports Editors names the best sports sections and writers. Since 1998, the News has won a dozen awards or honorable mentions, while the Post hasn't received any.

Then there are the ads. According to sources, the News' two Yankees commemoratives produced 65 ad pages to match 79 pages of editorial, while Yankees Century hasn't produced any. And when you consider the big picture—last year, the News brought ad revenues of $410 million, compared to $125 million at the Post—it's obvious the Murdochs are paying a steep price to compete in this game.

Magazines like Yankees Century aren't designed to be ad supplements. Explains Rubenstein, "These are for readers, and readers love them."

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