The push to become the most outrageously anti-Trump major newspaper failed financially.
The NY Daily News does some good reporting.
Unfortunately, the paper long ago went full Trump Derangement Syndrome. The NY Daily News covers are notorious for belittling Trump in ways not normally seen in major newspapers. (See examples of recent covers below.)
The decision to become New York’s most outrageously anti-Trump newspaper was deliberate, an attempt to save the NY Daily News from the pressures newspapers everywhere face.
The New York Times covered the strategy shift in January 2016, as Trump was rising in the Republican primaries:
On a recent afternoon, Jim Rich, the editor in chief of The Daily News, sat at his computer playing around with front-page headlines, a few well-chosen words that would capture the day’s biggest news: Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary.
In a few minutes, he had what he thought was a promising candidate: “CRAZY, STUPID LOVE.”
Mr. Rich walked it out into the newsroom for feedback. The paper’s copy chief, Jon Blackwell, proposed an alternative: “I’M WITH STUPID!”
The Times further reported on the strategy, which focused on clickbait covers, which seemed divorced from financial reality:
It was the latest in a series of attention-grabbing covers that have shifted the conversation around the struggling paper. Just a few months ago, after an aborted sale and sweeping layoffs, The News seemed to have completed its devolution from the model of a big-city tabloid to a battered symbol of the diminished state of America’s newspapers. But the recent string of covers, which were all widely shared on social media, have sent a very different message — if not about the paper’s long-term financial prospects, then at least about its continuing cultural relevance….
These covers can now reach more people than they ever did on the newsstand. The problem is that readers don’t have to pay to see them. For all of the attention The News’s recent front pages have drawn, it’s unlikely that they — or perhaps anything — can rescue the paper from its precarious financial position. It’s a familiar story. The News’s circulation has been plummeting for years; it sits at about 241,000 on weekdays. It seems far-fetched to imagine that the paper will ever capture enough digital advertising to offset the declining revenue from its shrinking print base.
New York Magazine also covered the cover strategy:
The latest and most visible manifestation of that new strategic direction is a reinvention of the paper’s “wood” — newsman-speak for page one — for an era of hyperpartisan social sharing. Just as tabloid covers used to amuse, inform, and outrage passersby on the sidewalk, enticing them to pick them up and read all about it, the Daily News has arguably been the most aggressive and successful newspaper brand at turning the old-school institution of a front page into an irresistibly “like”-able image on Facebook — at least for people who don’t care for the right-wing politics of the New York Post. “You’ve seen it with the gun issue; you’ve seen it with Trump,” Rich, 44, explained one afternoon in early January in the paper’s quarters downtown. “We don’t shy away from the controversial issue. You’ve seen publications on the right, but there’s a vacuum on the middle left on these issues, a consistent, strong voice, and I like to think we’re doing a decent job of filling that void.”
It hasn’t worked out for the NY Daily News, and now there are massive layoffs.
HuffPo reports, New York Daily News Layoffs Ax Half The Newsroom Staff
The New York Daily News, a storied big-city tabloid known for its ruthless and splashy front pages, laid off half its newsroom staff on Monday, marking the latest round of cuts at the beleaguered Tronc company’s media holdings.
“We are fundamentally restructuring the Daily News,” an email from Tronc to the staff reads. “We are reducing today the size of the editorial team by approximately 50 percent and re-focusing much of our talent on breaking news — especially in areas of crime, civil justice and public responsibility.” The paper had about 85 newsroom employees prior to the cuts, according to the New York Post.
The notice said human resources would notify those affected by day’s end. As reporters and editors waited, some were seen going around the newsroom, thanking each other for their work. “Just trying to make the best of it,” a staffer said.
The entire social media staff reportedly was fired:
The reactions from politicians and journalists focus on the need to support local journalism. The former Editor in Chief, who was just fired, tweeted:
If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you.
— Jim Rich (@therealjimrich) July 23, 2018
The anti-Trump NY Attorney General tweeted:
What is completely lacking in the reactions is introspection about how solid news reporting was swamped by insane clickbait and anti-Trump covers.
Here is a sample of NY Daily News Covers in just the past few months.
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