The New York tabloids weigh in.
Obviously Kevin Convey doesn’t wear the right kind of shoes.
Word came Wednesday afternoon that Convey, a former Boston Herald editor, was being replaced as editor of the New York Daily News (via Poynter). The new boss: Colin Myler, who was editor of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World when it was shut down amid the phone-hacking scandal. Myler was reportedly not involved, and even called out James Murdoch over his claims that he knew nothing about nothing.
According to Capital New York, Convey was seen by Daily News staffers as never quite fitting in during his two years at the helm. An unnamed source is quoted as saying that, among other things, “he dressed funny. What type of editor-in-chief wears Chuck Taylor All-Stars to work?” Well, there you go.
The shake-up at the Daily News gets a mention in the Boston Globe’s Names section today, and the Herald runs an Associated Press story that contains no reference to Convey’s Herald tenure (different in the print edition, perhaps?). The unanswered question is whether Herald publisher Pat Purcell would bring back Convey in some capacity. Convey’s a smart, interesting guy, and it would make sense to bring him in at least as a consultant, provided he wants to do it.
Now, follow the bouncing tabloid battles. Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman, whose roots are in Boston, hired Convey from the Herald, which used to be owned by Murdoch and whose current owner, Purcell, continues to have business ties to the “genocidal tyrant.”
Zuckerman’s competition, of course, is Murdoch’s New York Post. Now Zuckerman has replaced Convey with Myler, an old Murdoch hand who may be looking to get revenge. This should be fun.
Last year, David McKay Wilson profiled Convey for the Colby College alumni magazine. To shed further light on the scandal that brought Convey down, Wilson reports that Convey was wearing “black tasseled loafers” when they met — though without any socks.
“I haven’t worn socks in the summer for years,” Convey told Wilson. “I like cool beachy feet.” Hmmm.
Photo (cc) by Akira Kouchiyama and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.
There’s an interesting profile of former Boston Herald editor Kevin Convey, now editor of the New York Daily News, in the current issue of the Colby College alumni magazine. Written by old Northeastern friend David McKay Wilson, the profile begins with a good anecdote about the Daily News’ collector’s-item front page following the killing of Osama bin Laden: “Rot in Hell!”
Convey’s suggestions — “Dead,” a play on the famous Daily News front page on the execution of convicted killer Ruth Snyder, and “We Got Him” — were deemed not quite right before a copy editor came up with the winner.
“Tabloid headlines are a very demanding form,” Convey told Wilson. “You are putting big words on a page that 530,000 people will buy and 2 million will read. It’s like journalistic haiku.”
Big news today at One Herald Square: Kevin Convey, a longtime Herald veteran who’s been editor-in-chief for the past three-plus years, is leaving to become editor of New York’s Daily News. He replaces Martin Dunn, whose departure was reportedly prompted by his wife’s battle with cancer.
I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, but Dunn was editor of the Herald for a very brief period in the early 1990s.
Convey’s new job entails a switch of tabloid loyalties. In Boston, the Herald is allied with its former owner, Rupert Murdoch. Herald publisher Pat Purcell, who bought the paper from his old boss in 1994, helps Murdoch run regional properties such as the Standard-Times of New Bedford and the Cape Cod Times.
In New York, the Daily News — owned by real-estate mogul Mort Zuckerman, who also has significant Boston ties — has been entangled for years in a steel-cage death match with the New York Post, whose owner, of course, is Murdoch. Here is the Daily News’ press release, along with Convey’s reaction:
I am looking forward to the challenge of editing the Daily News, which has some of the most talented people in the newspaper business and the web anywhere in the world. It is a great privilege.
Convey’s a smart guy who took over the Herald at a time when the paper, and the news business in general, was shrinking drastically. During the 1990s, he was part of the triumvirate that ran the paper, serving as managing editor for features along with editor Andy Costello and managing editor for news Andrew Gully. The trio was known, sometimes affectionately, sometimes not, as the “Micks with Dicks,” a commentary on their aggression as much as it was on their ethnicity.
Convey became editor-in-chief of Community Newspaper Co., which published about 100 papers in Eastern Massachusetts, when Purcell added it to his holdings in the early 2000s. After Purcell sold CNC to GateHouse Media a few years later, Convey returned to the Herald, serving as the paper’s number-two while editorial director Ken Chandler, tarted it up and made it more gossipy — more of a tabloid, if you like. After Chander moved on, Convey took over.
Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post wrote about Convey’s Herald in 2008.
Best of luck to Convey, who’s a good guy, and whom I generally found to be helpful and accessible back when I was covering the local media for the Boston Phoenix.
Needless to say, it will be fascinating to see who ends up succeeding Convey at the Herald.
Update: Well, that didn’t take long.
Correction: Ken Chandler’s name now fixed, thanks to an alert reader.