Tronc to Buy New York Daily News

Ann Santiago
September 5, 2017

Tronc, which owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune among several other papers, confirmed the takeover on Monday night.

However, the deal is somewhat a gamble, as Tronc have assumed the company's operational and pension liabilities, estimated at around $30mn, in the hope of turning the Daily News around under its portfolio.

Meanwhile, The New York Times offers that the sale of the newspaper "may also signal the end of the political influence of [Zuckerman], who often used the paper's bold, front-page headline - known as "the wood" - for commentary about candidates and politicians, locally and nationally".

The deal sees Tronc, formerly known as Tribune Publishing Company, wrest control from former proprietor Mort Zuckerman, with whom Tronc will partner by purchasing a 49.9% stake in a joint venture property firm which owns a 25-acre plot in New Jersey from which the Daily News is printed. "We believe that under Tronc's leadership, the New York Daily News will maintain its tradition of excellence in journalism and continue to be a critical voice for millions of print and online readers".

Arthur Browne, current editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News has also been named as Publisher.

The Daily News has endured waves of layoffs in recent years as it weathered circulation declines.

Though a Big Apple staple for nearly a century, the Daily News has been buffeted by larger negative industry trends, including declining ad revenues and the fact that millennials don't know how to read a physical newspaper.

Its daily circulation once exceeded 2 million in the 1940s, according to the Times, which added that the paper's circulation numbers are now in the "low hundred thousands".

Earlier this year, Tronc acquired the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, also for US$1.

Justin Dearborn, Tronc's chief executive officer, was quoted by the Tribune as saying, "This is a great deal for the paper and for us".

Up until 2014, The Hartford Courant and FOX61 were owned by Tribune.

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