More than a few people found yesterday’s NYO report that Rupert Murdoch has purchased The Brooklyn Paper a bit strange. This is not Rupe’s first foray into Brooklyn, mind you, back in 2006 he paid $16 million for the TimesLedger and Courier-Life newspaper groups (and has apparently previously expressed interest in The Brooklyn Paper) but still! Who buys papers these days?! Barely anyone, as everyone reading this blog is acutely aware, so why purchase an entire company? Maybe Rupe really is slightly off his rocker as Michael Wolff continually likes to suggest?
And then there’s this: Gersh Kuntzman, the paper’s editor (who has not actually spoken to Rupe yet) says “They don’t want the product to change…And they love the product. And the product is fantastic.” Really? The idea that any paper can exist these days without investing in significant change feels somewhat unlikely. The only plausible theory we can think of is that maybe Murdoch wants the local ad network the paper might provide — this also figured into the Times rationale back in 2006, however as we know, local advertising is increasingly important in this tough economy. Or! He plans to take the paper digital and give the NYT.com ‘The Local’ blog a run for its money. Feel free to share your own theory.