Tronc, the publisher of The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, announced on Monday that it had acquired The Daily News, the nearly 100-year-old tabloid that for decades set the city’s agenda with its gossip, sports and city coverage.
The deal represents the end of an era for The News, which was long a voice for New York’s working class. It may also signal the end of the political influence of its owner, the real estate magnate Mortimer B. Zuckerman, who often used the paper’s bold, front-page headline — known as “the wood” — for commentary about candidates and politicians, locally and nationally.
The News once boasted A-list columnists including Liz Smith, Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill, but it has been worn down by a grinding tabloid war with the Rupert Murdoch-controlled New York Post. And like the rest of the newspaper industry, The News has been battered and bruised by the internet age, when the equivalent of pithy headlines — a staple of The News — come a mile a minute on Twitter.
Sweeping layoffs have reduced its staff. The paper’s circulation, which exceeded two million a day in the 1940s, is now in the low hundred thousands. And The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that Tronc purchased The News for just $1, plus the assumption of liabilities.
Their entire staff is a liability, quite frankly. Fake news just isn’t worth what it used to be.
Here’s some irony: A former NYDN clown now works for another leftwing rag that also sold for a dollar:
— Gersh Kuntzman (@GershKuntzman) September 5, 2017