NYC
06/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Greater New York Launch A Victory Party In The Middle Of A War

Last night's Wall Street Journal blowout had all the makings of a victory party.

As a few hundred of New York's most prominent personalities looked on, faces alternating the colors of the lights shining beneath the dome of Gotham Hall, Rupert Murdoch spoke of the launch of the paper's new Greater New York section as if he'd just found the final piece to an unsolvable puzzle.

With the new section, Murdoch told the crowd, the paper would bring a "fresh, robust perspective" on the "city, the country, and the world."

It will be, Murdoch continued, "New Yorkers' essential source for news and information."

Bold words for something less than 24-hours old, but coupled with the earlier announcement that the Journal had overtaken USA Today as the country's number one paper, there were more than a few in the audience who believed it.

To drive that last point home, Murdoch couldn't help but reference a certain Gray Lady whose name was on everyone's minds, mentioning with barely constrained smugness that the New York Times local circulation had "declined by 40 percent over the past several years."

The audience laughed and cheered, and looking around at the top shelf open bar, the three types of smoked salmon, and endless assortment of delectables and delicacies, one could understand why: in a sense, they had won.

New York loves an up-and-comer, a rookie to cheer for, even if that newcomer is part of a hundred-year-old company and related to Fox News. The Times is fading, scaling back and reformatting.

Nobody loves a loser. Just ask the Knicks.

The Journal is moving forward, somehow, and in many minds that means progress, and progress means not having to look too hard at the barren wasteland of New York's once-fertile media landscape.

It means that the last three years didn't really happen. Or if they did, then that they weren't really the harbingers of doom that all had predicted.

Murdoch was pushing forward as only he and a handful of others in the world could. And the crowd, no matter how prominent or small the personality, wanted to come too. Everyone (save perhaps the mayor himself) wanted to hitch their wagons to the near-octogenarian Australian: they wanted to believe.

So, for an evening Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal truly had won. Not a war, as many in the company would surely like to believe, but just one battle in what will surely be a long line of them.

Will Murdoch be able to keep people believing?

Only time will tell.

(For photos from the event, CLICK HERE)