Daily News Briefings

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In the early 1920s, Joseph Medill Patterson founded The New York Daily News in Manhattan, with a goal of becoming “the most brassy and pictorial newspaper in America.” By the middle of the Roaring Twenties, the paper had established itself as the biggest newspaper in the country, with circulation approaching one million. The Daily News’ success was largely due to its sensational coverage and a willingness to go above and beyond the competition. This was evident when the paper published a photo of Ruth Snyder mid-electrocution after she was convicted of killing her husband, under the headline, “DEAD!”

By the end of the 20th century, daily news had begun to see its readership dwindle. However, the newspaper remained one of the best-selling papers in the nation and continued to provide strong local news coverage. The Daily News also began publishing the quarterly (later monthly) insert BET Weekend for African Americans, which was a tremendous success.

But in 1978, the Daily News suffered a significant blow when its workers went on strike for more than three months. This caused the paper to lose 145,000 subscribers, which was a large portion of its already diminishing circulation. The loss of revenue from the missing readership was exacerbated by a significant price hike. The strike would ultimately cost the Daily News $115 million in losses over the course of just a few years.

In 1993, Mort Zuckerman purchased the newspaper and set out to reposition it as a serious tabloid. He invested $60 million towards color presses, bringing the Daily News up to par with USA Today, the largest newspaper in the country. He also brought in a new editorial board and focused on promoting the newspaper to women, minorities, and young readers.

The move to a more serious tabloid paid off, and in 1994 the Daily News was able to break even for the first time since its 1978 bankruptcy. However, a series of bad financial decisions and a drop in advertising revenue resulted in the newspaper losing money for nine of the next ten years.

In 2017, the Daily News was sold to Tronc, a Chicago-based media company. The newspaper’s current editor, Marc Lacey, has been credited with stabilizing the Daily News and keeping it relevant in today’s crowded news market.