• U.S.

The Press: Merz for Finley

2 minute read

In 1920 two crusading young editors of the New Republic named Charles Merz and Walter Lippmann wrote a scholarly.

42-page indictment of the New York Times for the biased way they thought it handled the Russian revolution. Time brings all things. Mr. Lippmann is now an editorial keystone on the conservative New York Herald Tribune. Last week Charles Merz was made successor to 75-year-old Dr. John Huston Finley as editor of the conservative New York Times, in charge of the editorial page.

Dr. Finley. who took over the editorship in April 1937 after 16 years as associate editor, is an inveterate worker, talker, walker (he once walked 70 miles in one day, till this year annually circumambulated Manhattan), degree-taker (he has 31 honorary degrees, 21 LL.D.s). Of late he has been ill and Charles Merz has been filling in. Last week, with the Merz promotion. Dr. Finley was made editor emeritus.

The successor to such distinguished editorial chiefs as Charles R. Miller and Rollo Ogden, Charles Merz (rhymes with purrs) is 45. tall, greying, with a small black mustache and big black brows.

Editor Merz ran the school paper in his home town of Sandusky. Ohio, served a one-year hitch as an intelligence officer in the War. He worked for the New York World through the seven lean years before its demise. He has had seven fat years since on the Times where he distinguished himself as an able articulator of the ideas of Publisher Arthur Hays (“The Boss”) Sulzberger. For some time he has been one of the august council of seven—that tunes the Times. His new, sober post will probably not dim his quick wit.

At Yale (’15) he was editor of the rowdy Record while his classmate Archibald MacLeish conducted the more pontifical Literary Magazine. His Great American Bandwagon (1928) is a whimsical review of U. S. eccentricities, from ukuleles to kewpie dolls. Ever one to enjoy making the best of a bad situation, Mr. Merz likes to recall that he met his wife after hitting her with a golf ball.

*Others: Publisher Sulzberger, Vice President Julius Ochs Adler, Managing Editor Edwin L. James, Sunday Editor Lester Markel, Washington Bureau Chief Arthur Krock, Editor Emeritus Finley.

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