Accuracy in Media

The New York Daily News’ parent company, Tronc, sent an email to the paper’s employees on Monday outlining their plans to cut the paper’s editorial staff by 50 percent effective immediately.

“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,” the email reads. “We know our readers look to us for a unique point of view, and we believe these topics offer our best opportunity to differentiate our reporting. We will, of course, continue to cover local news, sports and other events, but our approach will evolve as we adapt to our current environment.”

The email which was obtained by CNN was unsigned but came from Tronc’s “talent and engagement” team.

Editor in chief Jim Rich and managing editor Kristen Lee will leave the company immediately. Rich will be replaced by Robert York who is currently the publisher and editor in chief of The Morning Call,  in Allentown, Pennsylvania which is also owned by Tronc.

Rich was upset with the cuts and tweeted his displeasure on Monday.

“If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you,”

That sounds similar to the Washington Post’s tagline, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” which the paper added after Donald Trump was elected president.

CNN reported that layoffs were to be expected as the News lost $90.4 million over the last three years.  The paper’s previous owner billionaire Mort Zuckerman sold it to Tronc last year for $1 plus assumed liabilities when his efforts to find a buyer for the last several years failed.

Everyone that is being laid off will be paid for the next 90 days and be eligible for transitional benefits according to the email.

“I know this is difficult news to hear and want to assure you we are working hard to treat each employee with respect and to make the transition as smooth as possible. With the exception of a few particular employees who are not in the office today, Human Resources will communicate with everyone leaving the Daily News by the end of the day. While our colleagues exiting the business will leave immediately, they will continue to be paid for the next 90 days and be eligible for transitional benefits after that.”

The move by Tronc underscores that the decade-long slump in the newspaper industry is far from over and that further cuts could take place if the company isn’t able to stop the bleeding.


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