Newspapers Making Wrong Kind of Headlines

The newspaper industry continues in full free-fall mode, with shutdowns, layoffs and cutbacks…and more rumors of impending doom every day.

On the heels of the Rocky Mountain News closing, the Seattle Post-Intelligencier is said to be next on the list.

TIME, a magazine in jeopardy judging by the lack of advertising and shrinking size of weekly issues, ran a list of the 10 most endangered newspapers in America: Among the findings:

The Philadelphia Daily News, which tops the TIME list,  has filed for bankruptcy.

The Boston Globe is said to be losing a million dollars a week by some accounts.

The New York Daily News, one of several papers struggling in the New York metropolitan area, could easily lose $60 or $70 million.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently stated it was in danger of being closed or sold if it doesn’t stop losing money.

Headline Grabbers

Newspapers have always provided their readers with a creative and distinct way of packaging the news.

For example, take the headline, the teaser that steers the reader to the story.

Headline-writing is an art. And writing headlines for tabloid newspapers requires an extra amount of genius and humor, sprinkled with Scrabble ability.

Since the news broke that Alex Rodriguez used steroids, the back page of the New York Daily News featured A-Rod three of every four days for a month.

Here’s a sampling of those headlines.

When it was first revealed that A-Rod may have used illegal drugs:



When he claimed ignorance on where he got steroids:






When he spoke about getting the drugs from his cousin:



And some general headlines like:





When stories about A-Rod’s hip injury first began to surface:



Not to be out-headlined, the New York Post said the Alex dug himself deeper:


And of course, another Post toastie:


From the time I attended college until my early 30s, I worked as a writer and editor for several daily newspapers. And there are a couple of headlines that I’m particularly proud of writing.

While working in the composing room at the Worcester Telegram my senior year at Holy Cross College, the Yankees beat White Sox knuckleballer Wilbur Wood in both ends of a doubleheader:

Yanks Knock on Wood


for Doubleheader Sweep


Later, at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Phillies won their first World Series in nearly a century. My headline was simply:


When Craig Stadler won the 1982 Masters, the heading was:

The Walrus

by a Whisker

And lastly, when Notre Dame upset top-ranked Virginia and Ralph Sampson in college basketball:

Yes, Virginia

There Really Is

a Notre Dame

Related Post: I Read the (Rocky Mountain) News Today, Oh Boy


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