The Daily News

The Daily News is a morning tabloid newspaper published in New York City, the largest metro daily in the United States. Founded in 1919 as the Illustrated Daily News by Joseph Medill Patterson, it soon became the first successful tabloid newspaper in America. The News attracted readers with sensational coverage of crime, scandal, and violence, lurid photographs, and cartoons and other entertainment features. Its success can in part be attributed to its willingness to go further than its competitors in order to get attention-grabbing front page photos and headlines.

In 1947, the paper reached its peak, with a circulation of 2.4 million copies daily. At the time, this was the highest circulation of any newspaper in the world. Its reputation for brassy pictorial coverage, and a willingness to go further than its competitors, continued into the 1930s. In 1928, a reporter strapped a small camera to his leg and photographed Ruth Snyder being executed in the electric chair; the next day, the News ran a photo of Snyder with the headline “DEAD!”

By the 1970s, the News had consolidated its position as the nation’s leading newspaper, by purchasing many rivals, and introducing innovative new advertising techniques. By the 1980s, however, the News had begun to decline. In 1985, the Tribune Company attempted to take advantage of the weakness of the labor unions by offering huge buyout packages to staff members. The News’s ten unions refused to accept these offers, and went on strike for five months. The strike caused a loss of 44 percent of the newspaper’s revenue. The News was able to continue publishing by using non-union replacement workers, but the damage had already been done.

In 1991, controversial British media mogul Robert Maxwell purchased the News from the Tribune Company. The following year, the News moved into its landmark 220 East 42nd Street headquarters designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, a building now known as 5 Manhattan West. It also established the television station WPIX, whose call letters were derived from the News’s nickname, “New York’s Picture Newspaper.” The station remains in the former News Building.

The News continued to publish sensational stories, but readership declined further in the early 21st century. Its exploitation of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump gave it an opportunity to reposition itself as a more provocative and salacious publication, which included giving Republican Senator Ted Cruz the middle finger through the Statue of Liberty’s hand, and rehashing its iconic 1928 headline of “DEAD!” in reference to the President-elect. By 2016, the News had returned to its roots and had regained some of its lost market share. The newspaper was sold to Tronc in 2017 for $1.