Jazz Age Murder Scandals, Tabloid Wars, and the Birth of America’s Obsession with True Crime

As far as Payne is concerned, daily news Outperforming his burgeoning rivals in every way, he is confident of fending off their incursion. Granted, Payne doesn’t have to worry about outside forces threatening his position. information– A conflict is brewing internally.

Payne’s grief for Helena was enduring and deep, dragging him into the abyss of despair, despite all the reasons his career offered to be happy. Eventually, at the urging of his friend and Helena’s mother, Payne pulled herself up and back into the saddle. One of Penn’s closest friends, daily news Journalist Francis Farley sparked a sort of personal renaissance that positively influenced Payne’s style and behavior. Old Phil Payne was simple, lazy, and didn’t care about fashion.Dressed in expensive suits, the new Phil Payne roamed downtown chic haunts and rubbed elbows at elite clubs like Rotary, Cheese and Inner Circle, imitating him at the Astor Hotel’s annual dinner show, Along with fellow New Yorkers, celebrities include Governor Al Smith, Mayor John Francis Hylan, U.S. Representative Ogden L. Mills and new york world Edited by Herbert Bayard Swope.Gossip Project The New Yorker Noted that Payne “had a good time in town”.

In another personal development, Payne was increasingly making public appearances with Peggy Hopkins Joyce, a gorgeous showgirl whose millionaire The marriage — and subsequent separation from Swedish earl Gösta Mörner — provided tabloid journalists with endless fodder, including daily news, Joyce is a regular on the front page. Payne made a lot of money as a newspaper editor, but not enough to satisfy Joyce’s appetite for diamonds and furs. What Payne was able to give Joyce that the rich in her life could not, was the spotlight in the country’s largest newspaper. He showed her what one contemporary called “a great publicity campaign,” which Patterson wasn’t happy with.

Patterson can be a demanding and sometimes very picky boss, scolding Payne for his “propensity to question orders” or “photographs” [that] The first page looks terrible. Patterson warned Payne to retract his girlfriend’s report. “I’m tired of seeing pictures of Peggy Joyce in the papers,” he snapped. The last straw came one night in 1925, when Joyce S visited Payne in the newsroom, flying around the hallways like a mischievous child. Payne took her on a tour, from reporters hammering out stories in their weathered Remington home to massaging every morning Huge printing press that prints out hundreds of thousands of newspapers. Joyce marvels at the powerful machines, and Payne asks her if she wants to turn them on, taking her to the control panel. She stretches out a soft pale finger and hits the start button , then flinched dramatically at the roar of the press. “Take me out of here! She yelled and grabbed Payne, who pressed the stop button and escorted Joyce back to his office. When Patterson was still living in Chicago, he was furious when he heard about it. Payne crossed the line , his editorial position is now over.

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news on May 9 Editors and Publishers: “Philip A. Payne, editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News for the past two and a half years, has resigned from his position, effective June 15.” Frank House, the tabloid’s urban editor Hause, who was the coffin at Helena’s funeral, was promoted to succeed him. Payne, who was approved to receive that year’s $11,986 bonus, said he had “completed the tabloid dailies in another city” and that he would announce those plans when he returned from the holidays. He left town for Maine, then packed up for Europe, setting sail on the Berengaria on May 27.

Under Penn’s leadership, information continue to gain circulation. It now sells far more than any other U.S. newspaper — about 800,000 copies on weekdays and close to 1 million on Sundays, a milestone Patterson said he was moving from Chicago to New York. This runaway growth in circulation has made Payne an invaluable commodity for any zealous newspaper publisher, and such publishers have lost no time in snapping up him. Hearst’s statement came as he hadn’t even returned from a sabbatical in Europe: “Philip A. Payne, who resigned as editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News last month, will become editor-in-chief of the New York Mirror. .”

The change will go into effect on July 1 following Penn’s return from continental Europe – seen as a major escalation between the warring tabloids. A year after its launch, mirror Circulation climbed to nearly 300,000. But what good is 300,000 copies when your opponent has sold nearly a million copies?Hurst not interested in second place – he ordered Payne to take over informationPayne is more than happy to help.

As Payne’s allegiances shifted, New York’s tabloids had become an unstoppable force in a rapidly changing media landscape, while also facing disruption from radio and film. “The tabloid picture attacked entrenched eight-column journalism and threatened to become a new, bastard fourth estate,” suggested in one article. nationSupporters praised the tabloid for its brevity, irreverence and “young crusader spirit,” as one disciple put it, while the clunky old guard despised their vulgarity and sensationalist tendencies obsessed with circulation. In a more dismissive assessment, New Yorker The writer sneers: “With the aid of ointment and false gravity, they reveal slave rings that are at best nebulae; they linger in the unfortunate memory of their victims, after some twists and turns they may be romanticized; they use what seems to suit them News items of purpose, as nails, on which to hang the advice of suffocating, suffocating, unsuspecting demons; of any instrument to play with the greed of their hand-crafted audiences, and their greed with silly flashy contests; they recklessly publish creepy photos; they think it is obsolete to try to record actual news; they publish editorials, amusingly Scattered, shrewdly based on trivial things; they’re the biggest moneymakers in publishing; they’re growing fast.”

Rapid growth was Hirst’s top priority, and Payne executed it enthusiastically. First, he doubled down on reader contests, the front lines of the tabloid wars. One of his most absurd creations was the so-called “Big Dough Guy” contest, in which a hundred-dollar prize was awarded to stupid one-liners. “My friend is the big neck from Spooner, Wisconsin.” “My friend is the big hat from Derby, Connecticut.” etc. To promote the stunt, Payne sent a burly gentleman dressed in dollar-dyed clothes to the streets of Manhattan. “We want people to talk about our tabloids,” Payne told Editors and Publishers“So we sent a fat guy out and got thousands of people on Broadway to watch, laugh and talk about it. So we often tried to steer the paper with something we knew other papers wouldn’t play. It could be trivial, Yes. But it would be fun and not so exaggerated that the news suffers. The success of the tabloids, as well as standard-size newspapers, depends on their complete (if compact) coverage of the news. Ignore the news and circulation will drop. Trivia, however, are extremely important in establishing mass circulation, as they are often more interesting than current major events.”

Not all of Payne’s efforts were insignificant. He continued to support female journalists, such as the paper’s first female reporter, Helen Hadagkin, whom Payne sent into the Holland Tunnel to personally document the construction of the tunnel. He hired a young writer named Micheline Keating, with her breakthrough novel, prestige, for which Payne acquired the second serial rights. Like Julia Hapman before her, Keating became a die-hard criminal and, under Payne’s tutelage, became a reporter covering Jazz Age sensations such as the Peaches and Browning dad scandal, Charles Lindbergh Greg’s transatlantic flight, and the funeral of Hollywood heartthrob Rudolph Valentino, who died at the age of 30. One after an emergency appendectomy sparked a tabloid tour.

Courtesy photo.


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