The Daily News – A Brief History

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Founded in 1919, the Daily News was one of the first tabloids and the largest newspaper in New York City at its peak. It was also considered one of the first and most influential newspapers to cover politics. In the decades after World War II, the paper continued to be a major influence on American politics and culture.

The News is famous for its front page headlines, such as the 1975 “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD” after President Gerald Ford’s speech vetoing a bankruptcy bailout for New York City. It was at this point that the News, long a staunch Republican publication, began to shift toward a more ‘flexibly centrist’ stance.

In the mid-to late 1990s, as the newspaper began to lose money, publisher Mort Zuckerman made a series of big changes. He invested $60 million in color presses, bringing the News up to speed with its major competitors. He also began to invest in online and mobile platforms and launched the popular BET Weekend insert.

By the mid-to late 2000s, however, the News’ financial woes intensified. Its circulation had halved and it was losing millions of dollars per month. On top of all this, the internet and the rise of social media was beginning to put a squeeze on printed newspapers in general.

This is when the first cracks in the News’ once impenetrable exterior started to show.

In 2018, the News’ circulation dipped below a million, its lowest level in over 100 years. Then, in September of that year, the Tribune Publishing Company (at that point temporarily rebranded as Tronc) re-purchased the Daily News for the monumental sum of one dollar.

The News then embarked on a huge layoff spree, cutting more than half of its editorial staff. Ultimately, the News was left with around 45 employees, a far cry from the 400 that were plying their trade in the News Building in the 1980s.

Today, the Daily News is still based in Manhattan, at 220 East 42nd Street (or 5 Manhattan West). The iconic News Building was designed by architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood. It features a giant globe and weather instruments in the lobby and was the model for the Daily Planet building from the first two Superman movies.

The News offers a free daily news summary delivered to your inbox. Each Daily News article includes comprehension and critical thinking questions as well as “Background” and “Resources” (including videos, maps and links) to help students understand the story. The Daily News is a great way to keep up with international news developments as they occur. Sign up to get it in your inbox each morning and afternoon. Weekdays.