The Daily News – The Eyes, The Ears, The Honest Voice of New York City

Unlike the more expensive and larger competing newspaper, the New York Post, the daily News found a market with city subway commuters who found its smaller tabloid size easier to handle and navigate. It also used a more sensational and titillating content, which appealed to readers seeking entertainment from their morning paper. The Daily News was also innovative in its business model, selling ad space to local businesses and charging for subscriptions to its news and sports sections.

The News reached its peak circulation in 1947, reaching 2.4 million copies daily. It was the first major U.S. daily to be printed in tabloid format, and remains the largest city paper in terms of total distribution. Throughout its history, the Daily News was known for its fierce stance on protecting the First Amendment and advocating for the rights of New York City residents, including those who were marginalized or ignored by other media outlets. The News was also an early adopter of modern technology, developing a completely electronic publishing system and buying what would become WPIX-TV in 1948, which is still located in its historic art deco Daily News Building designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood.

While the News was no longer able to grab the public’s attention with a single headline, such as its 1975 screamer “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD”, it maintained its reputation for strong local news and sports coverage. It was a staunch Republican publication until the late 1970s, when it began to move toward a more centrist stance, exemplified by its ad campaign proclaiming itself as “The Eyes, The Ears, The Honest Voice of New York City.”

In 1992, the Daily News was sold to Mort Zuckerman, owner of The Atlantic magazine. He won a bidding war with Conrad Black, who owned Hollinger Inc., the publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and Britain’s Daily Telegraph, over control of the newspaper. Zuckerman was aided in his bid by having contracts in place with nine of the paper’s ten unions.

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