- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2002

NEW YORK A new daily newspaper with an old name hits the streets here tomorrow. As advertised, The New York Sun is designed to bring a conservative look to news in a city synonymous with liberal views.
Much fanfare has preceded the first issue, with TV and newspaper coverage recalling the romantic days when New York had eight newspapers and when reporters those "ink-stained wretches" took their calls in the local saloon.
The trumpeting is often sounded by friends of the Sun's editor, Seth Lipsky, a former "Reagan Democrat" who may picture himself in a green eyeshade but is still known to favor very Torylike English attire.
"I don't want to talk about the budget," said the Brooklyn-born Mr. Lipsky, 55, in an interview as he dodged a key issue.
But with the backing of Lord Black of Crossharbour the Canadian media baron known on this side of the Atlantic as Conrad Black, proprietor of the London Daily Telegraph and eleven other investors, Mr. Lipsky is said to have $20 million to get the Sun to rise.
"There are thousands of daily newspapers in the world, and every one was started. So it's not something that hasn't been done before," says the veteran editor, whose newspaper career has included launching the Asian Wall Street Journal and an English version of the Forward, a Manhattan-based Yiddish weekly. Mr. Lipsky left the Forward in a dispute over his conservative views.
Mr. Lipsky says he believes the New York Post should not be the lone voice for what he calls "issues of reform and sensible taxation." The paper considered likeliest to be hurt by competition from the Sun is the Post. Calls for comment to Col Allan, the editor of the Post, were not returned.
As for the New York Times, Mr. Lipsky faults it for "not focusing on New York," not to mention for what most conservatives see as its "liberal bias."
With an initial print run of 60,000, the Sun will have to be a feisty upstart against the Post, the Times and the Daily News, each of which competes fiercely for their slices of the tight advertising market, and with far more readers.
The Sun will contain from six to 18 pages daily from Monday to Friday and be distributed at 50 cents a copy through home delivery and at 4,000 newsstands in all five of the city's boroughs. The new paper will be distributed by the Times and the Tribune companies, the respective owners of the New York Times and Long Island Newsday.
The Sun's nameplate is a copy of the original logo on the old Sun, which went out of business 52 years ago. Peter Kaplan, editor of the New York Observer, a salmon-colored weekly that some say could lose readers to the Sun, welcomes the newcomers.
"Anyone who loves New York has to feel good about a new daily," he said. Mr. Kaplan also noted that with two successive Republican mayors and a Republican governor, perhaps New York's traditional liberal climate is evolving. "In certain ways, the conservatives have grabbed the ball and are much more entertaining and fun, more unified in their focus than liberals. They're a ball."
Whether the Sun bursts or sets could depend largely on the potential for a conservative readership and the willingness of investors to lose money. The editors and writers include an array of conservatives, including columnist R. Emmett Tyrell, author Richard Brookhiser, Peggy Noonan a speechwriter for President Reagan and various Forward alumni. Mr. Lipsky, an avowed Zionist, also plans to run articles from the Jerusalem Post, another paper owned by Mr. Black.
Founded in 1833, the old Sun was known for its reporting on crime and murder trials. Its marketing techniques were ground-breaking, at one point including the use of carrier pigeons to collect news. The new Sun will rely on state of the art electronics. No pigeons.
In 1868 the original Sun was sold to the celebrated editor and publisher, Charles A. Dana, who emphasized Republican conservatism and showcased lively writing by famous writers. One editor, Frank P. Church, wrote the most famous editorial in American journalism when he answered a letter from an 8-year-old girl with "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
The newspaper was absorbed into the New York World-Telegram and Sun in 1950, which went out of business in 1967. From 1911, the Sun had been published in 280 Broadway at the corner of Chambers Street, just across from City Hall.
The Sun clock stopped forever at 10:17 still hangs over the street corner like a venerable old signpost to the vanished realm of old-fashioned newspapering. Budgetary concerns prevented the Sun from setting up shop at the old address, so it settled for a floor of offices one block away.
Summing up the adrenaline rush of a big city editor, Mr. Lipsky concluded, "It's thrilling."

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