The Daily News

A popular tabloid newspaper founded in 1919 and known for large headlines and photographs, as well as short articles. The Daily News has a long history of controversial and provocative journalism. The paper was founded by Joseph Medill Patterson, a publisher of the Chicago Tribune.

In the Roaring Twenties, the Daily News quickly established itself as one of the largest newspapers in the country, reaching a peak circulation in 1947 at more than a million copies per day. The Daily News was able to penetrate the market by using its small size and tabloid format, focusing on scandalous and titillating stories, and offering reader contests and cartoon strips.

By the 1980s, however, the Daily News had begun to lose money. Over the previous decade, it had yielded to union demands over rules, job numbers and overtime, which had eaten into its profits. As a result, the Tribune Company – which had bought the Daily News in 1978 – decided to sell it.

British media mogul Robert Maxwell purchased the Daily News in March 1991, renaming it the New York Daily News and making substantial changes to its editorial direction and content. Maxwell negotiated with the unions and brought a 147-day strike to an end, but the newspaper still struggled in its early days.

The Daily News strove to remain controversial, often provoking a backlash from readers. In one famous example, a picture of President Trump giving Sen. Ted Cruz the middle finger was accompanied by the caption “TRUMP TO THE WORLD: DROP DEAD.” The picture, which earned the Daily News much criticism, was republished in several other countries, including Russia, where it was considered to be a violation of free speech.

After a period of declining readership, the Daily News began to recover in the 1990s. In 1994, it hired a controversial conservative editor-in-chief, Jim Rich. In addition, the newspaper boosted its advertising sales and launched a successful television station, WPIX.

In the 21st century, the newspaper has continued to struggle financially, although it has remained a major player in the New York City media market. In 2017, its circulation halved and, in September of that year, the newspaper was sold for just a dollar by its former owners the Tribune Publishing Company, now Tronc.

In 2021, an anonymous Yale College alumnus made a significant gift to the library that has facilitated the migration of the Daily News Historical Archive to its new platform and enabled the addition of issues from 1996 to the present. The archive is made available for research and education purposes through the Library’s Digital Initiatives. The Yale Daily News Historical Archive is maintained by the Library’s Department of Special Collections. The Library gratefully acknowledges the generosity of this donor, whose support enables us to continue expanding and improving the content and functionality of the site. For more information about the Archive, please visit our About and FAQ pages. The Library also thanks the contributors of Yale Daily News content to this archive, who are listed below.

You may also like