Friday, July 24, 2020

"Moses Annenberg and the Newspaper Business"

Right now I'm pretty sure the thugs at the FT could take out the NYT crowd but less certain of a WaPo or WSJ matchup.
From one of the internet's time treasures, Delancey Place:

Today's selection -- from The Outsider: Albert M. Greenfield and the Fall of the Protestant Establishment by Dan Rottenberg
J. David Stern ran the highly regarded newspaper The Philadelphia Record, but in 1936 was unexpectedly faced with the ruthless competitor Moses Annenberg:
"August [1936] brought the news that the Philadelphia Inquirer, the morning competitor to Stern's Record, had been sold by the Curtis estate to Moses L. Annenberg, a shrewd, aggressive, and immensely wealthy publisher whose previous record in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Miami suggested a man determined to eliminate his competitors by fair means or foul.

"Annenberg and his older brother Max were East Prussian Jews whose parents had immigrated to Chicago in the 1880s, when Max and Moe were small boys. Both brothers had come of age during Chicago's bloody newsstand wars that ensued after William Randolph Hearst invaded the Windy City in 1900 to challenge the dominant Chicago Tribune. As circulation directors of Hearst's new morning and evening papers, the Annenberg brothers hired gangs of tough-fisted agents to intimidate dealers and newsboys into taking Hearst's papers and dropping the Tribune's. The combat escalated from fistfights, broken bones, and wrecked newsstands to a shooting war in which five or six men were killed....