A newspaper reporter is hired as a city editor of a failing paper. He turns it tabloid and the bucks start rolling in.
Top New York reporter Andy Bryant(Walter Byron) misses a big story because he was drunk. That’s the last straw and he’s fired. He was coming out of a speakeasy singing “California Here I Come.” He wakes up on a bench at a train station in L.A.
Looking for a job he goes to the Evening Herald where his old pal Van Avery (Pat O’Malley) is city editor. While he flirts with Gerry Ward (Mary Doran), daughter of the publisher, her dad, John Ward, is offering Doris Corbin (Lila Lee) twenty grand for her paper the Dispatch. Six months ago is was fifty grand. She has no choice but to take it. Back in the press room Gerry’s boyfriend, gangster Jimmy Delane comes in. Andy doesn’t see him giving him the evil eye.
Ward assigns a reporter who used to work for the Dispatch to write a story about the sale making him look good. The reporter refuses and is fired. He refuses to hire Andy because of his history of drunkenness. Andy goes to see Doris. He tells her not to sign any agreement and he’ll work for free as City Editor. He’ll get paid when the paper starts making money. Ward jumped the gun and printed the story of the sale he wrote himself. He’s out for revenge for made to look stupid.
Andy adopts the slogan, “We Print The Truth No Matter Who It Hurts.” The once staid paper is now a tabloid with headlines about crime, disasters and sensationalism. Months ago by and they’re making money while Ward’s paper is losing. His major stock holders are concerned and want him to step down so they can replace him with Andy. Nothing doing.
Ward puts a spy on the Dispatch who tries to get Andy to start drinking again. It doesn’t work. The two major stockholders make Andy an offer and he refuses. He says he fights fair. Andy gets word that a dive is going to be raided and he warns Doris not to go there. One of the stockholder’s daughter is arrested when her boyfriend stabs a patron.
She gives Doris a sob story and she tells Andy to kill the story. Now she has an attack of consciousness about the tabloid nature of the paper. Andy proposes to her but she turns him down. Later he shows her a telegram he got from his old paper in New York. They want him back, He’s accepted. Then something happens to change his mind.
This isn’t a bad time passer. It goes where it’s supposed to and of course has a feel good ending. Certainly not a must see but but still worth a look.