It's a pleasant surprise, but we actually love Lloyd Grove's profile of New York Post editor-in-chief Col Allan in this week's New York. Allan, a saucy Aussie if there ever was one, comes off as a pugnacious tyrant who is driven by a desire to win at all costs. Also, he likes a drink every now and again. Mostly now. Read the whole piece: There's a ton of detail, and Grove's knowledge of the tabloid industry may not have saved his job at the Daily News, but it is put to good use here. Our handy highlights follow.
- Col once forced Lloyd to drink himself silly in a cold kitchen.
- It's been a rough year for Col. The Post's aborted price hike showed that when readers had to choose from both tabloids on an even playing field, they preferred the News. Also, there was that whole thing about Page Six editor Richard Johnson taking cash from restaurateur Nello Balan. And the news that strip joint Scores seems to be Allan's second home.
- Col threatened to muddy the reputation of the Central Park jogger when the News got the first scoop—basically on accident—on her memoir of her brutal assault and rape.
- Rupert Murdoch was, as we pretty much knew, probably the source of the bad tip that lead to the Post declaring Richard Gephardt as John Kerry's choice of running mate. Allan diplomatically denies.
- CLASSIC: "[S]hortly after Allan settled into his new job in the spring of 2001, he was awakened at 2 a.m. by a call to his unlisted home phone from an angry Giuliani—who, in the middle of his messy divorce, fussed at the editor about a headline concerning his children.
'How did you get this number?' Allan asked.
'I'm the fucking mayor of New York,' Giuliani replied. 'I have everybody's number.'"
- Former Posty Ian Spiegelman, whose deposition in support of Jared Paul Stern brought the Richard Johnson payole story to the fore, continues to correspond with Col. "Spiegelman, meanwhile, has been favoring Allan with a running commentary on the situation. 'I know where you're at right now, you fat sluggish waste of perfectly good carbon,' Spiegelman e-mailed to Allan recently. 'You're stuffing your goddamned face, belching and farting, and thinking that you've handily side-stepped this episode ... Col, you're tired. You've quit. Don't you think it's about time you get the fuck out of my country, you hump?' Spiegelman signed off: 'Hugs and death, Ian.'"
- "Cindy Adams tells me, 'There is a certain braggart swagger to the way Col talks and walks, and for there to be this chink in his armor, it hurt him deeply.' A close confidant of Allan's says, 'He's very tough, but I know his wife, Sharon, has been shattered by it. And he had to talk his children through it, and it's been very rough for him and his family.'" Awww, that's sweet. And so like Post types to be concerned for the family.
- The News is as dirty as the Post, says Col.
We still recommend you take the time to enjoy the entire piece.