A good friend says goodbye

posted at 7:25 am on September 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The New York Sun publishes for the last time today.  Editor Seth Lipsky prints the newspaper’s valediction in the final edition, after a fruitless search for capital made even more difficult in the current financial situation:

So we are at this sad moment. It is sad for any newspaper to go out of publication, and it is particularly sad for one that is as loved as much as all of us here love The New York Sun and the readers we have won in our six-and-a-half years of publication. But I want you to know that the decision to close the paper has not been an acrimonious one. It is a logical decision following a hard-headed assessment of our chances of meeting our goal of profitable publication in the near future.

This was always a risk, and all the greater is the heroism of our financial backers. Even at the end they were offering millions of dollars if we could find the partners we needed. I don’t mind saying to you, as I have to them, that I very much regret — I will always regret — that we were not able to return to them the capital that they invested in us. Yet we have not heard a single regret from any of them on this head, which underscores the fact that it was not only for the possibility of profit that they invested in this newspaper. They invested also for other ideals, as well.

They invested in the ideal of the scoop, the notion that news is the spirit of democracy, and in the principles for which we have stood in our editorial pages — limited and honest government, equality under our Constitution and the law, free markets, sound money, and a strong foreign policy in support of freedom and democracy. They liked the way the Sun reflected the dynamism of our city and spoke for its interests in the national debate.

They invested, too, in the joy with which you illuminated the cultural life of New York, in our willingness to spring to the defense of so many who are not always defended, in the thrill of our sports coverage, the verve and warmth of our society coverage, and in our efforts to bring together a community and give it voice.

I first got to know the Sun in the early days of my blogging, in 2004.  Ira Stoll and Seth Lipsky actually gave me my first paying gigs as a writer, giving me an opportunity to write a few columns.  The Sun welcomed me as an honored guest when I visited New York City for the 2004 Republican convention, and I had an opportunity to meet the staff and see their newsroom — which looked like a newsroom should look.

Of course, we’ve come to know them through their work, as well.  Benny Avni kept us informed on the UN and its scandals and peccadilloes in ways that shamed the larger newspapers.  Eli Lake, another good friend, has worked hard to inform us of the various victories and setbacks in the wars and in national security.  Josh Gerstein worked the Washington beat vigorously.  Its opinion section published some of the best thinkers on the Right.

Unfortunately, the Sun just couldn’t survive in this era of struggling newspapers, in one of the few cities with true competition in the market.  It wasn’t for lack of commitment, quality, or talent.  The Sun was one of my favorite enties on my feedreader, and it produced some of the best journalism in its time.  In fact, the Sun’s staff was so good that it’s inconceivable that they will not all find spots elsewhere soon, but their collective work will leave a gap that just can’t be filled by disparate entries from other media outlets.  The Sun stood for quality, and that brand had significance.

Thank you for over six years of excellence, and best of luck to all of you in the future.


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looking forward to the day we can do this for Al-NYT instead of a paper that tried to “report”.

*salute*

sven10077 on September 30, 2008 at 7:29 AM

NO!

I will contribute.

How can they quit now?

winemkr on September 30, 2008 at 7:31 AM

Sounds like the Sun newpaper went after the
truth,and a helpful hand to the right,and
so,its unfortunate that this had to happen!!

canopfor on September 30, 2008 at 7:38 AM

So Ed, what are your suggestions on how to successfully launch of a media company. The “if we have excellent reporting, they will come” approach seems insufficient.

Mark30339 on September 30, 2008 at 7:40 AM

Hopefully their writers will be gainfully employed at the NY Post & other non-leftist papers.

jgapinoy on September 30, 2008 at 7:41 AM

so the proverbial sun sets….

Kaptain Amerika on September 30, 2008 at 7:41 AM

While I like the Post, it not the Sun. And the New York Time is best only for wrapping fish.

Mr. Joe on September 30, 2008 at 7:42 AM

So Ed, what are your suggestions on how to successfully launch of a media company. The “if we have excellent reporting, they will come” approach seems insufficient.

Mark30339 on September 30, 2008 at 7:40 AM

simple… in your business plan… don’t call for any presses of any kind… let your presses me servers and your distribution be a domain name…

Kaptain Amerika on September 30, 2008 at 7:43 AM

Wow…that was fast. The vote was only yesterday afternoon, right?

Jaibones on September 30, 2008 at 7:47 AM

So a decent honest newspaper like the Sun is forced to shut down, while a gutless, dishonest rag like the NYT is still chugging merrily along.

This just is not right.

pilamaye on September 30, 2008 at 7:56 AM

simple… in your business plan… don’t call for any presses of any kind… let your presses me servers and your distribution be a domain name…

Kaptain Amerika on September 30, 2008 at 7:43 AM

That’s exactly what I was thinking. HA doesn’t have a print edition. If it did, I wouldn’t be talking to you now.

JiangxiDad on September 30, 2008 at 7:59 AM

That’s sad. The Sun was one of my regular stops.

irishspy on September 30, 2008 at 8:26 AM

I do think we will see more of this in the coming years.

Bob's Kid on September 30, 2008 at 8:37 AM

This morning I picked up my last NY Sun from my doorstep. The Sun has been my constant companion on subway rides to and from work and the truly only New York paper I enjoyed reading. I feel quite sad about this.

muggedbyreality on September 30, 2008 at 8:39 AM

The NY Sun, the Financial Times, and sometimes WSJ were my papers of choice. But the NY Sun had such stellar reporting. Very sad.

jencab on September 30, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Alas. if only it would be the Baltimore Sun! What a left wing rag.

wepeople on September 30, 2008 at 8:58 AM

My favorite printed paper and a good website.

You will be missed…..

Why not continue as a web presence?

Hening on September 30, 2008 at 9:16 AM

Newspapers and online journalism concerns should take a serious look at the bevy of excellent journalists and editorial writers from this wonderful paper to fill out their rosters.

AYNBLAND on September 30, 2008 at 9:17 AM

Curious Ed… how do you jive this story with the other story about Newspapers dying because of their biased reporting not explained by the internet?

In fact, the awareness has gone beyond the blogosphere. How do we know? Newspaper readership has fallen significantly this decade, and only part of it can be explained by the Internet. People no longer trust the media to deliver news objectively.

Sure, I KNOW the media is in the tank for Obama… but I think this throws a wrench in the argument that people are dropping newspaper subscriptions because of it.

Skywise on September 30, 2008 at 9:20 AM

Any CHANCE of getting ELI LAKE on board here?

Michelle? Anyone?

originalpechanga on September 30, 2008 at 9:26 AM

It is a sad day for conservative movement. Why can’t some biggie conservative financier shore up the newspaper? I guess we are all interested only in carping how unfairly MSM treats us rather than protecting the last venure for truth telling.

The Sun was a great paper especially on security issues. Will miss them badly.

promachus on September 30, 2008 at 9:38 AM

My paper of choice when I lived in Manhatta.

Vincenzo on September 30, 2008 at 9:39 AM

I live all the way out in Iowa and I read its online edition just about every morning. The Sun will be greatly missed.

The Times I don’t bother with and the Post’s site is annoying.

Vatican Watcher on September 30, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Comes down to advertising as much as than circulation — as long as the big-ticket buyers of ads like retail stores in New York are enraptured by the lure of the New York Times, another broadsheet paper like The Sun will always have problems breaking into the market, because they’re targeting the same income demographic, albeit it a more conservative middle and upper-income one (the Post and the News have a different market niche than the Times, but if the old gray lady ever loses the support of its major Manhattan customers that make the 100 to 400-inch a day B&W and/or color ad buys, they’re toast too).

jon1979 on September 30, 2008 at 10:08 AM

That’s sad.

MayBee on September 30, 2008 at 10:58 AM

So a decent honest newspaper like the Sun is forced to shut down, while a gutless, dishonest rag like the NYT is still chugging merrily along.

This just is not right.

pilamaye on September 30, 2008 at 7:56 AM

The Times is on death watch. I doubt it will last another 4 years without a bailout.

JIMV on September 30, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Well, at least Nibras Kazimi has a blog.

ganeshpuri89 on September 30, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Damn! Why couldn’t it be the New York Times, not the New York Sun?! I’ll miss the Sun, one of the very best papers in America.
.
I just sent an email of condolences and best wishes to the Editor and Staff of the Sun. The email address is editor@nysun.com.

DavePa on September 30, 2008 at 2:41 PM

Comes down to advertising as much as than circulation — as long as the big-ticket buyers of ads like retail stores in New York are enraptured by the lure of the New York Times, another broadsheet paper like The Sun will always have problems breaking into the market, because they’re targeting the same income demographic, albeit it a more conservative middle and upper-income one (the Post and the News have a different market niche than the Times, but if the old gray lady ever loses the support of its major Manhattan customers that make the 100 to 400-inch a day B&W and/or color ad buys, they’re toast too).

jon1979 on September 30, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Whoa, dude? Did you read today’s articles on the Sun at the Sun website? Apparently, they were 25% ahead of projections for ad revenue (something like that). I don’t think the Sun’s problems had anything to do with ad revenue so much as it did just carving out a big enough and profitable enough place for itself in a market already dominated by the Times, the Post and the Daily News.

Vatican Watcher on September 30, 2008 at 2:58 PM