The Daily News

Founded in 1919, the Daily News is a New York City newspaper and the first successful tabloid in the United States. Originally known as the Illustrated Daily News, it attracted readers with its sensational coverage of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and entertaining articles, such as reader contests and cartoons.

By the end of the 1930s, Daily News distribution had reached a record 1.5 million copies per day. The paper’s success was bolstered by its extensive coverage of World War II, and it was also an early adopter of the Associated Press wirephoto service, adding an entire staff of photographers to its editorial roster. In 1947, the newspaper hit its peak circulation of 2.4 million copies a day, making it one of the largest newspapers in the country. The Daily News continues to publish in its signature large format, featuring prominent photographs and intense city news coverage. It also features celebrity gossip, classified ads, comics, and a sports section.

The Daily News is also the parent company of WPIX, the local TV station and radio channel in New York City. The station’s call letters are based on the newspaper’s nickname “New York’s Picture Newspaper”, and it is located in the old Daily News Building. The newspaper was also an early adopter of the color printing process and purchased the rights to the first radio program to be broadcast in stereo, which was then a new technology.

In 1975, the newspaper published what would become its most famous headline, which mocked President Gerald Ford for his veto of a bankruptcy bail-out for New York City: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD”. The article went on to report that the City was awash in debt and warned that its future was bleak without the aid of government funds.

Since the 1990s, the Daily News has struggled with declining readership and competition from newer digital media sources. The arrival of the internet and the rise of online news and commentary has taken a toll on all printed publications, including the Daily News. The News has been criticized for the quality of its journalism and for its bias, particularly against Jews and other minorities.

In 1991, controversial British media mogul Robert Maxwell purchased the Daily News from the Tribune Company, and he invested $60 million to upgrade the paper’s production capabilities and push it into the ranks of the nation’s top-ranked newspapers. This was short-lived, however, as Maxwell ran into severe financial trouble and lost control of his empire. He was found dead of a heart attack aboard his yacht in November 1991. The Daily News reverted to its old name in 1996 and moved out of the News Building to a single-floor office on 5 Manhattan West. The paper launched a popular quarterly (now monthly) insert called BET Weekend for African Americans and started publishing online in October 1996.