The Daily News

Founded in 1919, the Daily News was the first tabloid newspaper published in the United States. It has since become one of the largest newspapers in the country, reaching a peak circulation of 2.4 million copies per day in 1947. It was also an early adopter of the Associated Press wirephoto service and developed its own large staff of photographers.

In 1978, the News was involved in a lengthy multi-union strike that crippled production and cost the paper dearly. The Tribune Company’s new reputation as a union-buster was to be tested again five years later in New York. When the ten unions that comprised the Daily News’ printing workforce struck, Tribune Company management was quick to hire non-union replacement workers. The move was a costly and unsuccessful attempt to cut payroll costs that were eating up 44 percent of the newspaper’s total revenue. By the end of 1990, the Daily News had lost $115 million.

The 1990s saw the emergence of the Internet, and the News responded by shifting from print to online. While the News was still a leading source of New York City news and politics, its online presence and ad sales began to chip away at the paper’s traditional subscriber base. By 2000, the News was losing half of its subscriptions.

After the loss of a significant number of subscribers, the News underwent a radical restructuring that included cutting staff and closing offices. In addition, the Daily News began to focus more on entertainment and celebrity news, while moving away from political coverage. The News began to publish a weekly tabloid magazine called the Style section and launched the website DailyNewsOnline in 1996.

As the decade wore on, the Times and Post continued to gain ground on the Daily News. In 1987, the News started the monthly insert BET Weekend for African Americans and grew it into a nationally distributed publication by 1997. The News also diversified its media holdings by creating WPIX television in 1948 and purchasing what would become CBS Radio’s WFAN-FM.

In 1989, the Daily News was resurrected as “The Eyes, the Ears, the Honest Voice of New York City.” However, circulation numbers continued to decline until in 2017 the New York Daily News saw its readership halve and was sold back to its former owners for just one dollar by Tronc. The News has since made a concerted effort to revive its credibility with a more provocative tone and headlines. Examples include giving Republican senator Ted Cruz the middle finger through the Statue of Liberty’s hand and rehashing its most famous headline in the direction of Donald Trump: “TRUMP TO WORLD: DROP DEAD.” The News has also adopted a more liberal position on certain political candidates and ballot measure issues, as tracked by Ballotpedia. The News is currently headquartered in the News Building on East 42nd Street, an art deco landmark designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood. It was the model for the Daily Planet building in the first two Superman films.