Park Row in Manhattan is just across from City Hall. In the late 19th century, so many newspapers located in Park Row that it was dubbed “Newspaper Row.”
Newspaper entertainment columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) coined the name “Park Rowgue” for a newspaper man. “Park Rowgue” has been cited in print since at least 1928, but the term quickly became obsolete when New York’s major newspapers began to leave Park Row and locate in midtown.
Wikipedia: Park Row (Manhattan)
Park Row is a street located in the Financial District of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was previously called Chatham Street and during the late 19th century it was nicknamed Newspaper Row, as most of New York City’s newspapers located on the street to be close to the action at New York City Hall. The street runs east-west, sometimes called north-south because the western end is nearer to Downtown.
18 May 1928, Greensboro (NC) Daily Record, “A New Yorker on Broadway” by Gilbert Swan, pg. 4, col. 4:
A newspaper man is a “Park rogue.”
24 July 1928, Kokomo (IN) Daily Tribune, “Up and Down Main Street” by Dow Richardson, pg. 10, col. 3:
A glossary of some of Winchell’s more famous contributions to the dictionary of trick names would read as follows:
“Park Rowgues”—newspaper men.
4 December 1928, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “Your Broadway and Mine” by Walter Winchell, pg. 6, col. 4:
THE PARK ROWGUE
Frank Garlasco, of the Club Lido, forwards the one about the reporter who went to interview a phamous philm star who had just been divorced from an even more famous husband.
14 December 1928, Lexington (KY) Herald, “The Diary of a New Yorker” by Walter Winchell, pg. 4, col. 4:
Ollie Garrett, one of the few Park Rowgues to click in the philm sector, is here for a spell without much hair.
13 February 1929. Macon (GA) Telegraph, “Your Broadway and Mine” by Walter Winchell, pg. 4, col. 5:
Park Rowgues were chinning about good newspapermen and one of them called Gene Fowler’s clever ruse to get a yarn concerning the last illness of the elder J. P. Morgan.
27 July 1930, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, “Back to Broadway: The Old Days On Park Row” by Frank Ward O’Malley, sec. 2, pg. 1, col. 3:
I suppose the speedier post-bellum readers of today haven’t time to bother with what we antebellum Park Rogues looked upon as the last word in newspaper art.
20 December 1936, Brownsville (TX) Herald, “On Broadway” with Winchell, pg. 4, col. 3:
... Journalists in New York: Park Rowgues: Broadway-farers...Chorus girls: Terpsichorines...All of which was born in this space, but nowhere in the author’s book (A Thesaurus of Slang by Howard N. Rose—ed.) is there indication that he read it here or any other place.
By Bob Thomas
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
In The American Language, H. L. Mencken cited a long list of Winchell’s contributions to slang. Among the examples:
Park Rowgue (newspaperman)