Perhaps this predictable behavior is in FreeBSD only. (I don't have access to other platforms). Or perhaps my simple test was too simple. It just seemed to be too predictable to not at least try to get some feed back.
I'm not a big fan of programming to take advantage of undocumented implementation details; they may change unexpectedly. Why not:
* Write a wrapper script that does the desired ancillary actions, running the original command in the process:
: # newsyslog_lcl - wrapper for newsyslog
... pre-actions ...
... post-actions ...
* Change /etc/crontab to invoke newsyslog_lcl, rather than newsyslog
The usual caveats apply, of course, to writing root-level programs.
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