New York Daily News sold for $1 as newspaper industry struggles
New York: The New York Daily News, the storied century-old tabloid known for its provocative headlines, has been sold for $1, in the latest sign of turmoil in the newspaper sector.
The deal which closed over the weekend allows Tronc, the owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, to acquire the New York daily for virtually nothing while assuming its pension and operating liabilities, according to a regulatory filing.
“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,” said Justin Dearborn, chief executive of the newspaper group previously known as Tribune Publishing.
“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.”
The Daily News has won 11 Pulitzer awards since its founding in 1919, including a prize this year for its reporting on police abuse of eviction rules to oust poor residents from their homes.
Ironically, the sale returns the newspaper to its roots, founded by Joseph Medill Patterson, who was a co-publisher of the Chicago Tribune, which eventually became part of Tribune Co.
Still, the deal underscores the deep woes of the print newspaper sector, where values have been plummeting over the past two decades as more readers and advertising turn to online sources.
Earlier this year, Tronc acquired the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, also for $1.
Tribune Co. owned the New York paper until 1991, when it was bought by British newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell.
The latest owner, real estate billionaire Mortimer Zuckerman, purchased the daily in 1993.
Throughout its history, the Daily News has been known for its colourful and provocative headlines.
Among its most famous was the “Ford to City: Drop Dead” in 1975 when president Gerald Ford refused federal aid to stave off imminent municipal bankruptcy.
In 2016, it reprised that theme with a headline “Drop Dead, Ted,” after Senator Ted Cruz denounced “New York values” in a Republican presidential primary debate.
Tronc announced that Arthur Browne, who has been editor-in-chief, has been named publisher and will stay until the end of 2017.
The transaction gives Tronc the Daily News printing facility in Jersey City, New Jersey, and a 49.9% stake in the land on which the printing facility is located and which overlooks the Manhattan skyline.