2006_03_31_postman.jpg Gee whiz do we like a good tabloid fight. And lucky for us, it looks like that age-old battle between Rupe Murdoch's New York Post and Mort Zuckerman's Daily News is about to get interesting again. Well, interesting if you find the ever dwindling newspaper circulation numbers interesting. Which for whatever reason, we actually kinda do.

So here's the story: This week is the end of one of two Audit Bureau of Circulations reporting periods (the wha? think of the Nielsens ratings, but for the newsprint set). That means that in order to charge the maximum amount for their quickly fading advertisements papers need to have sold as many copies this past month as they possibly could. Or at least made it look like they did. And this is where problems have been coming up for the entire newspaper industry a lot in the past few years (hello Newsday!). But there is one nice catch, a Gawker favorite lately, which is that if an advertiser sponsors your newspaper and you give it away for free those papers will still count towards your circulation. That's why there have been people hawking more then just AMNY and Metro around the city of late.

Pretty boring stuff, eh? Thank goodness we can always count on Murdoch "The Man from Down Under" to keep things interesting. See, even though the Post persuaded Nike to sponsor free Posts around town yesterday the Daily News managed to catch the paper that Hamilton founded dumping thousands of bundles of yesterday's paper into recycling centers around the city. A giddy News quickly tattled to the Audit Bureau and ran a big spread on it today. But here's what we don't get, why didn't the News wait a day until the Audit period was over? Since the Post's Nike sponsorship continues today, News Corp has at least a slight chance of weaseling out of any wrongdoings (for instance by writing the recycled papers off as a loss and taking the slight circulation hit). But if Zuckerman's posse had just waited and busted the Post after the fact... that would have been fun.

Incredible NY Post Vendor (A Post-man?) taken from Mashuga's flickr stream.