New York Daily News reporters recovering from a turbulent 2011 know one way to land in the good graces of editor-in-chief Colin Myler: any and all things Catholic.
Mr. Myler, who replaced Kevin Convey in the News‘ top spot early this year, is best known as the former New York Post editor who took over London tabloid News of the World mid-hacking scandal and ultimately renounced the Murdoch clan. Before hitting Fleet Street, Mr. Myler began his journalism career at the Catholic Pictorial news agency in Liverpool. He attended a Catholic high school and has been called devout. But even casual readers have noticed how the hometown newspaper dotes on New York Archbishop-turned-Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan.
In addition to keeping tabs on his squabble with President Obama’s employee contraceptive plan, The Daily News has covered Archbishop Dolan’s appointment to the College of Cardinals the way the Post has covered the rise of Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. In anticipation of the elaborate elevation ceremony at the Vatican on Saturday, the paper has been publishing stories virtually daily about the so-called “Catholic rock star.”
“Archbishop Timothy Dolan a born leader,” declared a Monday spread.
Earlier, the tabloid reported on how Archbishop Dolan felt as he departed for Rome (nervous about his Italian but excited for the pasta), as well as how the flight went (turbulent, but he found comfort in our prayers). The paper also sought advice for him from former head of the New York archdiocese Edward Cardinal Egan (hold on to your red cap, he said).
For the archbishop’s 62nd birthday earlier this month, the News had Manhattan restaurant world darling Heather Bertinetti whip up a Split Chocolate, a favorite regional specialty from his childhood in St. Louis.
Even the paper’s Grammy coverage smelled of frankincense. Catholic League president Bill Donohue told the News that Nicki Minaj’s exorcism-inspired performance was like “sticking the middle finger right in the faces of Catholics.” (Wonder what he made of the Super Bowl.)
News sources said that Mr. Myler’s attention to detail had reinvigorated the newspaper. Adjusting to a more reverent newsroom, however, will take some getting used to.
Swearing now elicits disapproving glares from the boss, we hear.