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The New York Mirror Closes Down

Oct. 15, 1963 - The New York Mirror, the newspaper with the second largest circulation in the country, ceased publication with today’s issue. The Mirror had been published since June 24, 1924. It was the first day of the bitterly fought Democratic National Convention, in which Al Smith and William G. McAdoo knocked each other out of the Presidential nomination and let the honor fall to John W. Davis. This left New York City, which had 16 newspapers of general circulation at the turn of the century, with only 6. The Hearst Corporation, in announcing that it was closing the tabloid, said the name, goodwill, and “other intangible and physical assets” of the Mirror had been sold to The Daily News. There was irony in this. It was The Daily News, the paper with the largest circulation in the U.S., that the late William Randolph Hearst decided to compete with directly by establishing his own tabloid in New York. The Mirror made a dramatic impact, offering features and, through columnists like Walter Winchell, a terse, saucy language that became highly popular and influential. The Mirror had been selling more than 800,000 papers daily recently and more than a million on Sunday, but the latest figures for The News show a daily circulation of more than two million and a Sunday sale of more than three million. An official of The Mirror put the explanation for the tabloid’s closing, despite its circulation statistics, in brusque terms: “Costs have risen far in excess of revenues and have created substantial deficits over an extended period. The recent prolonged newspaper strike aggravated the already serious problems of The Mirror.” One of The Mirror’s famous features, Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” comic strip, apparently is one of the prize assets that will go to The News in the transaction.

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