The New York Sun newspaper shut down its operation after six-and-a-half years of service on September 30. It existed for the most part as a Manhattan newspaper, but was available in the outer boroughs. The Sun's editorial pages skewed right of center, and was a refreshing sip of intellectualism in a city mired in homogenous news and reporting.
While it is no secret that the New York City market is not easy terrain for a conservative newspaper, but it is for that very reason that it was needed. The Sun lacked the readership base of a New York Post, and the neighborhood ownership of a paper like the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star. It lived to serve only a few nerdy academic conservatives, and now we miss it.
Congressman Anthony Weiner praised The Sun on the House floor. That could be seen as either crocodile tears or sincere sentiments, but regardless, Weiner was right. Newspapers can be saved. Governor Mario Cuomo saved The New York Post. It's an act of courage for a politician to save a newspaper, because it can come back to bite you.
A paper like The Sun cannot compete in a market like this – not in its recent form. But it can live as an online newspaper, with one large printed weekend edition. They should consider that. And Congressman Weiner should tell them so. It won't help him politically, but he would get some points in this column.
It also might pull in his direction some centrist city residents that might appreciate the effort. Other politicians can do this, but Weiner will be around for a long time. He'd be able to tell this story over and over again. I may regret this advice, if I turn out to somehow be right.
The Sun was a conservative voice in Manhattan when there was no other to be heard. And now, it's quiet.