Death of the Daily News

Publisher’s Summary

The Daily News is the ninth most widely circulated newspaper in the United States. It was founded in 1919 and was the first U.S. daily printed in tabloid format. The News is now owned by tronc, and its headquarters are at 4 New York Plaza in Lower Manhattan. It is one of the nation’s most prominent and influential newspapers, though its circulation has fallen significantly since its peak in the 1950s. The paper’s focus is city news and intense coverage of crime, but it also includes celebrity gossip, classified ads, comics, sports, and an opinion section. The News is known for its high-quality photographs and for its provocative front-page headlines.

During its heyday in the 1920s, the Daily News was a major competitor of rival tabloid The New York Post and frequently took on political wrongdoing (such as the Teapot Dome scandal) and social intrigue (such as the romance between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII). It was also a strong advocate for photography and became an early adopter of the Associated Press wirephoto service in the 1930s, developing a large staff of photographers. The News was also an early owner of what would become WPIX-TV in 1948, whose call letters are derived from the News’s nickname “New York’s Picture Newspaper.” The News moved to its current headquarters at 450 West 33rd Street (also known as Manhattan West) in 1995, but it retains its old 220 East 42nd Street building as an official city and national landmark.

Andrew Conte’s Death of the Daily News is a profoundly disturbing book about the societal impacts of losing a local newspaper—an all-too-common story as “news deserts” proliferate across America. The book’s careful research and compelling prose make it accessible to scholars as well as ordinary readers, and its final chapter, cleverly organized into the stages of grief, offers hope that communities can recover their own local journalism. This is a must-read for anyone interested in journalism, local politics, or the future of our democracy.