PM (newspaper)

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PM was a communist leaning New York daily tabloid published by Ralph Ingersoll from June 18, 1940 to June 22, 1948, and founded by Ted Thackeray The paper was financed by the eccentric Chicago millionaire Marshall Field III.

The title was interpreted as meaning an afternoon paper (p.m.) or ‘picture magazine’. The paper consisted mainly of sequences of images (cartoons) for illiterate audiences. It was pure communist war propaganda and aggressively supported the Roosevelt administration.

The paper employed some radical journalists, among them some known members of the Communist Party. The paper borrowed many elements from weekly newsmagazines, such as many large photos and, at first, being bound with staples. It accepted no advertising in an attempt to be free of pressure from business interests. These departures from the norms of newspapering created excitement in the industry; 11,000 people applied for the 150 jobs available when the paper began.

Circulation averaged at 165,000, but the paper never managed to sell the 225,000 copies a day it would need to break even. According to a June 21, 1966 memo from Ingersoll to Mrs. Leighner [found in the Boston University Gottlieb Archives]:

"Before the end of the War (World War II) it was actually operating in the black...In my opinion at the time and these twenty years later--PM's death is most soundly attributable to a sustained and well-organized plot originating amongst Field's friends and associates in the business world who alienated Field's loyalty to PM and to me. The hostility was there from the beginning; the plot came together under the auspices of a man named Harry Cushing who was a retainer of Field's. The principal and successful offensive of this group was that it had as its objective Field's distraction from PM by persuading him to start the Sun in Chicago. Once they committed Field to the Sun venture, the end was inevitable. I can diagram it for you but merely put it on record here."

The paper was sold in 1948 and published its final issue on June 22. The next day it was replaced by the New York Star, which folded January 28, 1949.

Dr. Seuss was a frequent contributor to PM's editorial page. Crockett Johnson's comic strip Barnaby debuted in the paper in 1942. Walt Kelly's comic strip Pogo first appeared in PM's successor, the Star, in 1948.

Legendary journalist I. F. Stone was the paper's Washington correspondent.


See also

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.
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