Just Asking… Which Financial Daily Is Jumping Into the Gossip Biz?

rupe 3 30 Just Asking… Which Financial Daily Is Jumping Into the Gossip Biz?Last week, we reported that The Wall Street Journal’s New York section was starting—of all odd things—sports beats, with reporters traveling to home and away games of New York teams.

Well, now it appears The Journal’s New York section is ready to throw itself into the dirty underbelly of the city’s nightlife!

The Journal has hired Marshall Heyman, a freelancer from Los Angeles who worked at W magazine, to shepherd the new coverage, sources said.

The section is expected to cover parties, nightlife, high society and events, sources said.

As far as the war with The Times is concerned, The Journal is clear to go! The Times did away with its gossip coverage four years ago.

But how will the broadsheet fare as it swims in the same waters as Page Six and Guest of a Guest? We watched The Times play around with this awkwardly, when it launched Boldface Names in 2001. The section was light on dish. It was relatively sober. There were lots of process stories about the difficulty of landing interviews! It lasted for five years, and Bill Keller and Joe Sexton pulled the plug in 2006.

Off the Record called Joyce Wadler, one of the Boldface Name veterans at The Times, to see if she had any advice. “Millions of years ago, when I did a lot of celebrity reporting, you could go out and hang out with Robin Williams for a few days,” she said. “There were no publicists! It was a happy time.”

By the time she wrote for Boldface Names, the press aides were out in force, and Ms. Wadler said going out was a tough, tough grind.

Any advice for The Journal or Mr. Heyman as the paper tackles the new beat? “I wish them well! Good luck,” said Ms. Wadler.

jkoblin@observer.com