Which brings us to the cuts. And an admission of personal interest.

I liked Harry’s column and was a regular reader, sometimes to marvel at the haplessness of some of the people asking him questions and the gentle, helpful responses he offered. He is also a seriously nice man.

I also like Signe’s strip and have been her friend since the days when she was very young and riding around the city on a bike with freelance art rolled in a tube. As an old editorial page editor, the loss of op-ed space makes me twinge. As a former feature buyer for the Daily News and lover of comic art, losing a page of comics turns the twinge into real pain.

Twenty full columns a day is a lot. Some of the choices aren’t the ones I would have made, but I don’t have the responsibility for making them.

It’s not a question of preference. For instance, I don’t really care whether the local anchordude and the anchorchick beside him are fiercely feuding or enthusiastically canoodling. As an editor, though, I have to acknowledge that a lot of people who buy the paper do care. Some of them can even tell one Kardashian from another. So space devoted to gossip is probably well-spent.

If I were making choices for any newspaper these days, I’d be seriously looking at some traditional pillars of the paper. Stock listings are a thing of the past. TV listings take up a lot of space and need a survey to determine how useful they are to readers. Personally, I haven’t used them in decades, but it’s important to know how many people still find them essential. Does anybody care about the horoscope? If the newspaper business can’t evolve, it will go the way of the woolly mammoth. In the last month, the Daily News evolved.

The current business climate for newspapers is brutal. It began years ago. I had to take reader calls back when the DN dropped its bridge column. You wouldn’t think people who play bridge would be that fierce, but they were. The calls about the “Phantom” and “Mary Worth” comic strips were less polite. The artist who drew the “Ghost Who Walks” organized a campaign for his restoration (it didn’t work) and even meddlesome Mary had her devoted fans.

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