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NY Daily News slashes staff in half

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Ny Daily News building
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Angerer/Getty Images


  • The Daily News announced Monday it will cut half of its
    newsroom staff, saying it will focus more on digital
    news.
  • Revenue and print circulation have shrunk in recent
    years, even as it provided critical coverage of health issues
    in public housing and for first responders after the Sept. 11
    attacks.
  • Editor-in-chief Jim Rich was included in the layoffs,
    and tweeted an ominous message early Monday morning, saying
    today was a good day “if you hate democracy”.

The Daily News announced Monday it will cut half of its newsroom
staff, saying it will focus more on digital news.

Recent reports had said
layoffs at the nearly 100-year-old paper were coming, but the
decision was made final in an email sent to staff Monday. Tronc
Inc. said staff at the Daily News will focus on breaking news
involving “crime, civil justice and public responsibility.”

The Daily News was sold to tronc last year for $1, with the owner
of the Chicago Tribune assuming liabilities and debt.

When reached for comment by Business Insider, tronc provided the
memo it had prepared for Daily News staff that specified the
layoffs reflect “the realities of our business and the need to
adapt an ever-changing media environment,” not the ability of the
paper’s staff.

The memo also announced Robert York will take over as
editor-in-chief, as managing editor Kristen Lee and
editor-in-chief Jim Rich were included in the layoffs.

Revenue and print circulation have been sliding at the newspaper
for years, as the paper reportedly lost $90.4 million
since 2011 — even after it provided critical coverage of health
issues in public housing and for first responders after the Sept.
11 attacks.

Rich tweeted an ominous message early Monday morning before the
layoffs were announced.

Rich’s Twitter bio also reads: “Just a guy sitting at home
watching journalism being choked into extinction”.

Often called “New York’s Hometown Newspaper”, the Daily News made
waves in recent years with its coverage of gun violence in
America that often featured provocative covers.

Rich once said in an interview with CNN the goal of
a Daily News’ cover was to “give you a punch in the gut”.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted late Monday morning to
defend what he called “an important New York institution and one
of our nation’s journalism giants” and urge tronc to “reconsider
this drastic decision”. 

Cuomo also seemed to suggest the possibility of state support to
reverse the layoffs, noting how his father helped revive the New
York Post when he was governor and saying “New York State stands
ready to help.” 

The Daily News first published on Thursday June 26, 1919 and is
one of 10 daily publications owned by
tronc, in addition to publications including the Chicago Tribune
and the Baltimore Sun.

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