Founded in 1919, the Daily News was America’s first tabloid newspaper and one of the most influential newspapers in the world. In addition to its extensive local news coverage, the Daily News was known for sensational crime reports and celebrity gossip. In the early years of its existence, it was engaged in a fierce circulation battle with rival New York City tabloid, the New York Post. Today, the Daily News is owned by tronc, and it is headquartered in the former Daily News Building on 42nd Street in New York City.
Circulation trends are a serious concern for many in the industry and have long been a topic of interest to scholars and other researchers. This fact sheet presents data on the current state of daily newspaper circulation in the United States, with a special focus on digital readership.
The data in this fact sheet are based on a number of sources. For print circulation, data through 2012 come from the trade group formerly known as the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), now called the News Media Alliance (NMA). In 2022, NMA no longer provides this data, so the Center determined the year-over-year change using its analysis of the financial statements of publicly traded newspaper companies.
Online subscriptions are much more difficult to gauge, as several top-circulation newspapers do not report these figures publicly. This is why the numbers offered here are based on estimates from a variety of sources, including the NMA and Comscore.
Readership of daily newspapers is declining across the country as readers move to the digital world. This is a troubling development, as the role of local journalism in our democracy is largely unknown. This is the premise of Andrew Conte’s absorbing book, Death of the Daily News, which explores what happens when a newspaper dies in a small town in Pennsylvania.
Conte combines deep reporting with a keen eye for detail to deliver a gripping look at the future of our information society. He takes us through the phases of grief as a community loses its newspaper and offers hope that the obituary for local news is not yet written, even in places like McKeesport. The result is a profoundly important book that should be read by journalists and non-journalists alike.