The Daily News

The Daily News

Founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson, the Daily News was the first successful tabloid newspaper in America. It quickly attracted readers with sensational coverage of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and entertaining cartoons and entertainment features. The News soon became the largest newspaper in the country.

At its peak, the Daily News had a circulation of 1.5 million. To accommodate such a large number of subscribers, the paper moved from its Park Place location to a new headquarters at 220 East 42nd Street. Patterson commissioned Raymond Hood and John Mead Howells, architects of the Chicago Tribune Tower, to erect a 36-story freestanding Art Deco structure that would become known as the Daily News Building. Its distinctive, utilitarian appearance would later inspire the Daily Planet building in the Superman franchise.

From its launch through the early 1980s, the Daily News was a highly profitable publication. But as the newspaper grew, it began to yield to union demands over such issues as work rules, staff numbers and overtime pay. By the time the 1980s rolled around, the Daily News was suffering losses of up to $1 million a month. The newspaper was also losing ground to its major competitors in the city, including the New York Times and the New York Post.

In 1987, the Daily News was acquired by a new owner, the Tribune Company of Chicago. The new owners sought to reduce labor costs, and the News’ ten print unions responded by going on strike. The strike lasted five months, and cost the News $70 million in lost revenue.

The strike also eroded the newspaper’s credibility among its readers. Its editors defended the decision to hire non-union replacement workers, arguing that it was necessary to maintain the newspaper’s integrity and its reputation for aggressive investigative journalism. Many readers, however, saw the move as an effort by the Tribune Company to break union power and sever the News’ ties to its city roots.

By the end of 1990, the Daily News had lost $115 million since its 1980s heyday, and circulation had dropped to below 800,000 copies per day. The paper was finally sold in 1991 to controversial British media mogul Robert Maxwell, who purchased the newspaper along with its sister publication, the Daily Mirror.

After buying the newspaper, Maxwell implemented big changes in an attempt to re-establish its earning potential. He invested $60 million towards color presses, which allowed the Daily News to compete with the visual appeal of USA Today, and repositioned it as a serious tabloid. In addition, he cut the paper’s editorial staff and embarked on a massive hiring freeze in an attempt to streamline expenses.

In this week’s Daily News, Rich discussed the latest on the two cases of teachers having sex with their students in New Jersey, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal and the controversy surrounding Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. He also spoke with Stu Bykofsky from the Philadelphia Daily News and BloombergView Science columnist Faye Flam about the latest in politics, the Republican primaries, Carly Fiorina’s support of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump’s foul language.