The New York Daily News announced massive layoffs to its editorial team on Monday, with the paper’s parent company Tronc ordering 50 percent cuts for a new focus on breaking news. Among the departed were editor-in-chief Jim Rich and managing editor Kristen Lee — both of whom had already updated their Twitter accounts Monday to reflect the change in status.
Staffers at the iconic New York tabloid were informed of the decision in an email, obtained by TheWrap.
“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,” said Tronc. “We are fundamentally restructuring the Daily News.”
The company also announced that longtime newspaper veteran Robert York would be coming in to lead the Daily News “effective immediately.”
In a statement late Sunday evening in advance of the news, Rich offered a bitter rebuttal.
“If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you,” he said.
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
Reps for Tronc did not offer any additional statement beyond the staff email.
News of the potential cuts had been rumored all weekend after Tronc warned Daily News staff to be at the New York office for an “important message” from company executive Grant Whitmore.
The restructuring is the latest development for the troubled paper, which Tronc acquired in 2017 for just $1 from billionaire New York City philanthropist Mort Zuckerman.
“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, Tronc CEO, in a statement.
“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 prizes over the course of its nearly century-long time in existence. In recent years, it has positioned itself as one of the most ferocious critics of President Trump.