Tronc, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, purchased the New York Daily News, according to a press release Monday.
“We are excited to welcome the New York Daily News team to the tronc family, and we look forward to working with them to serve new audiences and marketers while delivering value for our shareholders,” Justin Dearborn, CEO of Tronc, said in a statement. “As part of the tronc portfolio, the New York Daily News will provide us with another strategic platform for growing our digital business, expanding our reach and broadening our services for advertisers and marketers.”
With the purchase of the New York Daily News, Tronc now owns news outlets in the country’s largest media markets — New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles — increasing their attractiveness to advertisers.
New York Daily News, New York City’s “working class” tabloid, once boasted a circulation of two million readers a day in the 1940s. Readership has now been reduced to the low hundred thousands. Recent layoffs to reduce the newspaper’s staff along with real estate moves were implemented to offset plateauing digital growth and low print circulation.
Unlike The New York Times and The Washington Post, the New York Daily News was unable to capitalize on decidedly anti-Trump coverage to attract new digital subscriptions and ad revenue. It appealed mostly to subway commuters, which made the transition to digital media — where pithy eye-catching headlines are omnipresent — much more difficult.
Although financial terms were not disclosed, The New York Times reported that Tronc bought the almost century old newspaper for $1 (yes, one dollar) and the assumption of over $30 million in liabilities.
What Tronc gets in return is 49.9 percent ownership of the New York Daily News’ 25-acre property in Jersey City, N.J., where their printing plant is located. Tronc plans on using the facility to also print other papers they own, like the Hartford Courant and The Morning Call of Allentown, in an effort to save money, according to TheNYT.
Known for their poignant headlines, the New York Daily News isn’t a complete failure. Although no longer carrying the influence it once had, in 2017, the paper shared the Pulitzer Prize with ProPublica for public service in exposing the New York City Police Department’s widespread abuse of eviction rules.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman, New York Daily News previous owner, bought the paper in 1993 for $36 million.
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