The News had a digital reach of 23 million, but it wasn’t enough. The challenge of wringing profits from page views has eluded much of the industry, and the paper proved unable to end its losing streak. According to securities filings, it lost $23.6 million in 2016. Since then, its business has continued to suffer.
In naming Mr. York as the replacement for Mr. Rich, Tronc is following a playbook that did not have success at The Los Angeles Times, when, in similar fashion, it gave the job of top editor to an outsider with a business background.
Lewis D’Vorkin, an executive at Forbes Media who specialized in broadening the company’s native-advertising offerings, was Tronc’s choice for the Los Angeles job. The newsroom greeted his appointment with skepticism, and Mr. D’Vorkin lasted two months in the role. After tensions between the newsroom employees and Tronc continued, the company sold the paper to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in February for $500 million.
The longtime home of the columnists Jimmy Breslin, Dick Young and Liz Smith and the cartoonist Bill Gallo, The News reveled in its role as the voice of the average citizen. Etched into the stone above the entrance of its former home, the Daily News Building on East 42nd Street, is a phrase attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “God must have loved the common man, he made so many of them.”
“You used to see everybody reading the newspaper on the subway,” said Michael Daly, a onetime News columnist who now writes for The Daily Beast. “The News was the right size. It was the perfect size for the biggest city.”
One of its most famous headlines — “Ford to City: Drop Dead,” from 1975 — summed up President Gerald R. Ford’s refusal to send federal aid to a city on the verge of bankruptcy. Ford later said the headline had played a role in his losing the 1976 presidential election.
The News, winner of 11 Pulitzers in its 99-year history, underwent a crisis when 10 unions walked off the job in 1990. The Tribune Company, its owner since its founding in 1919, threw the paper into bankruptcy at the end of the long strike — and the man who rescued it, the British mogul Robert Maxwell, became tabloid fodder himself when his body was found floating near his yacht soon after he entered the New York media fray.
Orignially published in NYT.