The Press: Shiny Mirror

When the Los Angeles Times launched its new afternoon tabloid, the Mirror, last October, it hit the newsstands with a dull thud. Readers were baffled by its sideways front page, annoyed by its murky newsprint and cloudy color pages, and bored by its stories. By Thanksgiving Day, circulation had slumped to 71,447—well below the 100,000 guarantee to advertisers. From his thriving morning Times, Owner Norman Chandler rushed over City Editor Hugh ("Bud") Lewis to give Mirror Publisher Virgil Pinkley some help.

The Mirror turned its front page right-side-up, dropped most of its color, shortened and sharpened its stories, and started screaming...

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