Will the Daily News Survive a Cost-Slashing Takeover by Alden Global Capital?

Daily News

In its 20th-century heyday, Daily News was a brawny metro tabloid that thrived when it dug into crime and corruption. It served as the model for The Daily Planet, the paper that counted Clark Kent and Lois Lane among its reporters in the 1994 film “The Paper.” And it won Pulitzer Prizes for commentary, feature writing and international reporting. But in its current incarnation as an online-only tabloid, it has struggled to compete with free digital competitors. In the wake of a costly takeover by cost-slashing hedge fund Alden Global Capital, it’s reorganizing, cutting jobs and shuttering offices, and many journalists are wondering if the iconic newspaper will survive.

The Daily News, founded in 1919 as the Illustrated Daily News by Joseph Medill Patterson, was the first tabloid newspaper in the United States. Its sensational coverage of crime and scandal, lurid photographs and other entertainment features helped it to attract readers. Its early circulation peaked in 1947 at about 2.4 million copies per day.

During its heyday, the Daily News had a fierce rivalry with its even more sensational rival the New York Post. The two fought over readership with rival headlines such as the 1975 Daily News screamer, “Ford to City: Drop Dead!” The News, which had once dubbed itself “The World’s Greatest Newspaper,” went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1974 (with ProPublica) for uncovering police abuse of eviction rules.

By the 21st century, however, the Daily News had slipped significantly in the national rankings of best-selling newspapers. Its owner, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, sold the Daily News in 1993 and eventually to Tribune Publishing, which had acquired it by 2017, when it was renamed Tronc.

Under the new owners, the Daily News has suffered from declining sales and a decline in online traffic. In addition, the newspaper has been the target of several legal fights and protest campaigns by staff members who oppose the sale.

The newspaper’s current home, a landmark building at 220 East 42nd Street near Second Avenue, was designed by the architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood. The building straddles the railroad tracks that lead into Pennsylvania Station and is known as Manhattan West. In 1995, the News moved to a larger headquarters at 450 West 33rd Street, which is also part of Manhattan West and houses its television station WPIX.

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