There was a bloodbath at the NY Daily News yesterday. Three dozen newsroom staff were let go. The sports section was hit particularly hard – they lost the well respected Mike Lupica and Bill Madden, a long time baseball writer, who serves on the committee that helped select candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
These are very hard days for newspapers. The internet ” stole ” a huge chunk of their advertising business, and advertising has always been how most papers made a profit. Before that, TV stole some of their audience and revenues.
But also, let’s face it, very many people do not read the news at all anymore – even that that a tabloid like the NYDN offered. And those that do ” read ” often skim more than read, and the internet can work fine for that. Especially if you think that one writer is as good as any other, that one newspaper or worse still, that a news aggregator is as good as a quality newspaper.
The NY Daily News used to rule NYC and its suburbs. Back in 1947, the circulation was 2.4 million during the week, 4.7 million on a Sunday.
It’s down 80% from that now.
The New York Daily News in its prime wasn’t all great journalism by any means. It was a workingman’s paper that covered local, national and international news, and which had a really good sports section. They even had a foreign correspondent in London for a time, if you can believe that.
I used to deliver the NY Daily News to private houses as a young teenager, toting the papers in a cloth carrier bag. The bag was really heavy at the beginning of the route, and got lighter with each delivery.
There would be large stacks of the advertising packed Daily News and NY Times at the news stand on a Sunday, or the night before when the first edition came out.
The current NYDN is increasingly an internet vehicle that doesn’t cover local or other news well at all. There’s a lot of stories about junk celebrities. I don’t see it being around five years from now.
It, like most newspapers is going away, quickly, and all of us are the loser.