The New York Times and Daily News marked their return after an 88-day strike yesterday with familiar and plaintive notes.
The Times used the format of its usual Sunday "week in Review" section for a nine-page summary of the events during the strike called "88 days in review."
The Daily News made no attempt to encapsulate events since Aug. 9, but took a friendly tone. Its first banner headline was: "Hello There! Remember Us?" Its first front-page photograph was of Phil Gillick, one of the pressmen whose strike closed the papers. Gillick was shown pressing the button that started the News presses.
Striking reporters and editors returned to the newsroom after 4 p.m. Sunday, but both papers turned out editions with sizable reports of the day's news.
"When the staff came back they really just jumped in. It was quite thrilling," A. M. Rosenthal, executive editor of The Times, said.
The Times published about 10 percent fewer copies than a normal Monday press run of 840,000, spokesman Barry McCarthy said. The shortfall was largely in out-of-town delivery. About 12,000 rather than the usual 25,000 to 30,000 copies of the Times reached Washington, for example, McCarthy said. The Times' presses didn't start until about 1:30 a.m. yesterday, four hours after the normal press start.
Rosenthal said that Times editors who worked through the strike compiled the summary of 88 days under the direction of Michael Levitas, editor of The Week in Review.
News events were compressed tightly, with the selection and passing of Pope John Paul I and the selection of Pope John Paul II taking up less than a column. "I'm glad he was finally recorded in The New York Times," Rosenthal said of John Paul I. "It's no longer our missing papacy."
Rosenthal said the decision to do a news summary, but to keep it brief, was the result of wanting to mark the occasion and provide a souvenir for anyone wanting one, but also "not to provide something that wouldn't be read."
It was impossible to tell how it was being read yesterday, but how The Times was selling was obvious - fast. At a number of midtown and Wall Street newstands, The Times was sold out before 9:30 a.m. The Daily News also sold out on some stands.
In addition to the papacy, the summary's front page carried articles onn-South Africa, Rhodesia, Iran, China and the aftermath of the Camp David Summit conference.
Two of the nine summary pages were devoted to obituaries. "We didn't want to sting on obituaries," Rosenthal said. "It's startling to see how many people died over a period like this."
In a single page of capsule reviews, the summary deals with seven plays, 23 movies and three ballets.
And, for any New Yorker who slept through September and October, The Times gives three paragraphs to the Yankees' astonishing comeback that brought them a second straight World Series championship.
Discreetly placed on page 86 of the two-section, 96-page Times is the paper's longest story, the first installment of a long account of the strike by Jonathan Friendly. It describes executives of the Times and other papers as convinced when the strike began that it would be over quickly. They thought that other unions would pressure the pressmen into coming to terms if the three New York publishers remained united in their demands that manpower be cut in the pressrooms.
In fact, the unions stayed united and New York Post publisher Rupert Murdoch finally deserted The Times and Daily News and resumed publishing alone Oct. 5.
In its first post-strike edition, The Times announced that next week it will introduce a Monday-through-Saturday section called Metropolitan Report containing New York, New Jersey and Connecticut News. It also announced that on Nov. 14 it will begin a regular Tuesday section called Science World.