First published in 1982, USA Today featured brief articles, bright colors, bold graphics and light news. Modeled on television, it sought a market of business travelers, transplants and anyone for whom six paragraphs about the Middle East was sufficient and anything less than every last sports score was not.
The experiment nearly failed. USA Today was savaged by critics as junk-food journalism. David Hall, editor of The St. Paul Pioneer Press, said it was “like reading the radio.” Even USA Today’s editor, John Quinn, half joked that it “brought new depth to the meaning of the word shallow.”
I guess it could have been worse. Neuharth could have founded The Wall Street Journal.