The Daily News

The Daily News, founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson and once the newspaper with the largest circulation in the United States, was the first successful tabloid in the country. It quickly found a niche by targeting subway riders with its more compact size and by featuring sensational coverage of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and cartoons. It also offered celebrity gossip, classified ads, and sports coverage.

The newspaper’s greatest moment came in 1975, when the News rolled out what would become one of its most famous headlines: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD”. The scathing attack on President Gerald Ford, which the News had linked to his loss of support for a bankruptcy bailout for New York City, was designed to help make up for a poor election performance the previous year. The front page was credited with helping to bring about Ford’s defeat in the 1976 presidential race.

Following the purchase of the News by the Tribune Publishing Company, which in 1991 changed its name to Tronc, the paper continued its downward spiral. In the 1990s, it became the target of a labor dispute over its use of temporary workers and in 1993 was on the verge of bankruptcy. Its editors and reporters were forced to take pay cuts and the News laid off a substantial portion of its staff.

In an attempt to revive the newspaper, its owners began using a higher quality stock and relaunched it as “the serious tabloid” with the slogan “The Eyes, the Ears, the Honest Voice of New York”. It also launched the weekly African American insert BET Weekend and, in 1995, moved out of its home of 65 years, the News Building, into a single-story office on Manhattan West.

By 1996, the News was again a profitable publication and in early 1998 started a web version of the newspaper. In late 2000, the Daily News was relaunched again under new Editor-in-Chief James Rich. Its focus shifted to the political arena and in 2002, the newspaper was the only major publication to endorse George W. Bush for President.

The newspaper consolidated its presence in the city in the late 1990s when it bought the New York Post for $600 million and opened an additional bureau in Brooklyn. It also expanded its television and radio operations, with the establishment of the first local cable news channel in New York (CBS Cable News) and a network of satellite stations around the nation.

In late 2017, the News reported a significant fall in revenues and was forced to lay off more employees. In September of that year, the Daily News was sold to Tronc for the sum of $1. In 2018 the News was renamed the New York Times and moved to its current headquarters in the General Electric Building on Fifth Avenue. A Yale College alumnus has made a gift to help maintain the Yale Daily News Historical Archive. These funds will allow us to move the archive to a new and user-friendly platform and continue its ongoing maintenance and preservation.