In its 20th-century heyday, The Daily News was a brawny metro tabloid that thrived by digging into crime and corruption, the kind of paper depicted in the 1994 movie “The Paper.” It has won Pulitzer Prizes for commentary and journalism, but it has also struggled financially. On Wednesday, the newspaper’s owner, Tribune Publishing, informed employees that it was closing The Daily News newsroom in Lower Manhattan and the offices of four other newspapers around the country.
The move reflects the continuing weakness of print journalism in the age of social media and the decline of advertising revenue. It comes two years after Tribune Publishing slashed staff at The Daily News, which had been in the midst of a turnaround that saw the tabloid become the anti-Trump answer to The New York Post, a rival owned by Rupert Murdoch.
While the loss of a physical newsroom may seem insignificant to readers, it is a significant blow for staff members who were already feeling the effects of budget cuts, pay cuts and layoffs. The company has been cutting costs at its papers since it was taken over in late 2017 by Alden Global Capital, which owns about one-third of the publicly traded Tribune Publishing shares and three of its seven board seats.
For many journalists, the decision to close the physical newsroom was a reminder of just how much the industry has changed in recent decades. The newspaper’s roots in New York City date back to 1919, when it was founded as the Illustrated Daily News and became the first U.S. daily to be printed in tabloid format. It reached its peak circulation in 1947, at 2.4 million copies a day.
In addition to its main newsroom at 4 New York Plaza in Lower Manhattan, the Daily News maintains local offices within City Hall and at One Police Plaza. It also publishes a Sunday edition, the Sunday News. The News also owns television and radio stations, including WPIX-TV (Channel 11 in New York City) and WFAN-FM, an FM simulcast of its AM namesake, which is still located in the Daily News building.
A generous gift from an anonymous Yale alumnus has made it possible for The Yale Daily News to move its Historical Archive to a new platform, expand the number of issues available and ensure ongoing maintenance of this important resource. This archive is a valuable tool for teaching civics, history and writing at every level.