Jon Friedman offers some insight this morning into his News Corp. colleague New York Post Media Ink columnist Keith Kelly. Mr. Kelly said all that matters to him are scoops.
“There’s one thing that I get paid for at the Post is scoops. If you’re gonna give scoops to someone else, you’re taking food off my kids’ table,” Mr. Kelly said.
Accuracy is important, too, but sometimes there isn’t time to get the story totally right. “You’re getting paid to be right but nobody’s right 100 percent of the time,” Mr. Kelly said. “I think they realize that none of the stories are personal.”
Mr. Kelly said that if somebody gives a scoop to one of his competitors, he might print unsubstantiated rumors in his column to get back at them (he also said being a media reporter in New York is like being a police officer in a small town).
“One time, there was somebody giving what I call the gift-wrapped scoop to one of my friendly rivals at a broadsheet paper. and I said, ‘Look, I was on that story and you gave it to them. Here’s what i’m going to do. Every story from now on, every cockamamie rumor that comes out of your company is going in my paper. I’ll call you at the end of the day and say you deny the report…and then you deal with the consequences.”
Sometimes News Corp. politics can also ruin a scoop. In The New York Times’ post last night about Michael Wolff taking over e5 Global Media’s Adweek Media Group, Tim Arango noted that Mr. Kelly had the same story about Mr. Wolff last week. But Mr. Kelly’s story never ran, probably because of tensions between Mr. Wolff (author of The Man Who Owns the News) and Rupert Murdoch.