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"Does the Times have it out for Fox News?"

Written By mista sense on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | 11:55 AM

That's the headlineat FTVLive.com today, and it raises some excellent points about what seems certain to be an intensifying rivalry. Here's some of what FTV had to say:

There is no doubt that the Liberal New York Times and the Conservative Fox News have never been bed buddies. But, it seems like lately the Times has gone out of their way to snub Fox News and to prop up both CNN and MSNBC.

I report, you decide. FTV continues, after citing examples of the Times' negative coverage of Fox, asks, "So, why has the Times really been giving FNC the brush off as of late?"

And the answer comes back:

If you ask FTVLive, it seems to have started ever since Rupert Murdoch purchased the Wall Street Journal. When he bought the WSJ, he told the Times he was gunning for them. It seems that the Times has been snubbing FNC ever since.

And then FTV gets downright personal, and juicy:

Also, it seems like Times television editor Steve Reddicliffe is still bitter about losing his gig at News Corp (Fox Parent Company) owned TV Guide.

Ooh! Dish! The Cable Gamer did not know about Mr. Reddicliffe and his grudge. FTV continues:

The now 50 something Reddicliffe was fired from his editor in chief post at News Corp's TV Guide in 2002 after circulation fell nearly 40% during his tenure there. It's been more than three years since he took the Times job in 2004 but insiders say he's still bitter about losing the TV Guide gig which paid close to $750K (about five times more than he's making now).

It appears that Reddicliffe hasn't easily swallowed the two long years he spent on the beach and has continued to carry out his vendetta against News Corp properties like Fox News.

The Cable Gamer doesn't disagree with this analysis, but I would add a few points here:

First, the Times never liked Fox News, any more than it ever liked Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes, let alone Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity.

Second, if ideology explains much of the Times' hostility, jealousy explains the rest. The Times is in deep trouble, while Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns both Fox News and The Wall Street Journal is flourishing, while NYTCo is floundering, as the chart above, comparing stock performances over the last five years, makes clear--that's NWS in red, and NYT in blue.

Third, the Times' corporate and editorial hostility is only going to get worse, if Murdoch's plan to buy Newsday goes through, thus upping his reach into the Times' audience on Long Island.

OK, so that's the Cable Game for you. But one piece of free advice to Pinch Sulzberger--when the newspaper empire that you inherited is going under, mostly because you let your liberal ideology get in the way of a clear-eyed view of the technological future, is this really a good time to go around picking new ideological fights?

UPDATE: Radar, the ultra-cool gossip site, took note of this posting on Wednesday, April 23. This Gamer's got game! Hey Maer Roshan! I have been a fan of yours since your New York mag days!

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