The Daily News
Founded in 1919 as the Illustrated Daily News by Joseph Medill Patterson, the New York City-based newspaper was the first successful tabloid in the United States. Initially it attracted readers by emphasizing scandal and crime and by featuring lurid photographs. It also included a strong focus on local news, entertainment and sports coverage. The paper grew rapidly and by the mid-1930s was the highest-circulation daily in the United States.
By the early 1970s, it was locked in a fierce circulation battle with its more sensational rival, the New York Post, but continued to prosper, and by the 1990s, it had a high-minded if populist legacy. Its editorial stance was described as “flexibly centrist.”
In 1948, the News established television station WPIX, which inherited its call letters and name from its nickname, New York’s Picture Newspaper. The station was later purchased outright by Tribune in 1991, and it remains headquartered in the Daily News Building, which straddles the tracks leading into Pennsylvania Station and is now known as Manhattan West.
The News also built its reputation with a strong focus on crime and scandal, including the 1928 killing of Ruth Snyder in the electric chair, which drew national attention when it was photographed by a reporter who strapped a camera to his leg. The resulting photo, which featured Snyder’s face in shadow, is often regarded as the most haunting and enduring image of the crime.