The April Fool's Day "Unlikely Acquisition" Hoax
Gazette Buys New London Day.
The Connecticut Gazette, a small weekly newspaper, announced that it was purchasing the New London Day, a large daily newspaper. The article also announced the Gazette planned to expand the news staff of the New London Day “by cutting it in half—literally, at the waist; this would create twice as many reporters although, of course, they would be half their former stature.“ The article concluded with an “April Fool.“ Nevertheless, according to the paper’s editor their phones were ringing off the hook for weeks. In addition, the fictitious purchase was reported as fact in the New England Printer and Publisher, a trade journal.
CBS Newsmen Buy Local Weekly.
The Connecticut Gazette, a weekly paper based in Old Lyme, Connecticut, announced it was being purchased by the CBS newsmen Walter Cronkite and Charles Kuralt, who owned a vacation home in nearby Essex, Connecticut. Although the story was not true, it was picked up by the New York Post and run as fact several months later. The Post was forced to admit its blunder several days later.
The TNBC Network.
On Cable magazine reported that Turner Broadcasting was going to merge with NBC. The new logo of the resulting company (TNBC) would show a peacock wearing Ted Turner's trademark railroad engineer's cap. Ted Turner would personally add some variety to the new company's entertainment lineup by co-hosting a country music show called "Atlanta Howdown" with Slim Whitman and Barbara Mandrell. On Cable magazine received angry phone calls from executives at both NBC and TNT complaining that their management had taken such a step without informing them first.
The Laytonsville Dump Stadium.
State Senator Victor Crawford of Montgomery, Maryland introduced a bill into the Maryland senate proposing that his district receive $45 million to buy the Baltimore Colts and build a new stadium for them at the Laytonsville dump site in upper Montgomery County.
Tass Expands into American Market.
The Connecticut Gazette and Connecticut Compass, weekly newspapers serving the Old Lyme and Mystic areas, both announced they were being purchased by Tass, the official news agency of the Soviet Union. On their front pages they declared that this was "the first expansion of the Soviet media giant outside of the Iron Curtain." The article also revealed that after Tass had purchased the Compass, its two publishers had both been killed by "simultaneous hunting accidents" in which they had shot each other in the back of the head with "standard-issue Soviet Army rifles." An accompanying picture showed Gazette and Compass staff members wearing winter coats and fur hats, and carrying hockey sticks and bottles of vodka.
The announcement itself was bylined "By John Reed," and the new publisher, Vydonch U. Kissov, announced that the paper would be "thoroughly red." A new delivery system was also promised: cruise missiles (the publisher then admitted that this proposal was a 'leetle Soviet joke.') In response to the news, the offices of the Compass and the Gazette received calls offering condolences for the death of the publishers. One caller also informed them that he had long suspected
The New York City Packers.
New York City Comptroller Harrison Goldin called a news conference at which he announced that the city was purchasing the professional football team, the Green Bay Packers. City retirement funds would be used to make the purchase, and the Packers would replace the Giants and the Jets. Reporters had already phoned the story into the New York Post and Daily News when a press representative in Golden's office announced that the news was an April Fool's day joke. The Post complained that they had almost put the story on their front page, a mistake which would have cost them $100,000 to correct.
Melbourne makes bid to host Running of the Bulls.
Melbourne Tourism Minister Tim Holding announced the city was making a bid to host the Running of the Bulls:
"For too long the people of Pamplona have monopolised this event, the Brumby Government is determined to grab the bull by the horns and snare this important event for Melbourne."
Holding said the bull run would "start in the historic theatre precinct at the Paris End of Collins Street, travel through Chinatown, across Swanston Street, through the quaint King Street district and end at a packed Etihad Stadium."
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.