Regis Philbin was a well-known and passionate supporter of Notre Dame football. That we knew. What we didn't, though, until this afternoon was that this fandom — coupled with celebrity — led to the New York Times creating a special edition of the Sunday paper to cater to his needs.
Times print editor Tom Jolly told the story over a series of tweets and it's a good one.
This is one of the most powerful of all the powerful moves a person could possibly pull. And it's made even more powerful because he didn't explicitly ask for it. Philbin just used his leverage to air a grievance and the situation got sorted out in a way that pleased him. A lot like what happened to Tony Soprano.
It's tough to imagine the pressure Fighting Irish scribes must have felt knowing that they were covering arguably the most popular team for the world's most prestigious paper — and also that they had a very tight Regis deadline they had to hit in addition to the paper's.
Even though I try to be an optimist about the future of journalism, it's tough to imagine another talk-show host having this much control over a print product's printing schedule. But we'd love to be proven wrong.