A good friend says goodbye

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.