New York Daily News axes half of its staff

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The New York Daily News, one of the city’s two tabloid papers, is halving its editorial staff, the latest sign of trouble in the local news business. The cuts will leave the newsroom with about 40 people, according to former employees. They come less than a year after the paper was bought by Tronc, which has a reputation for low newsroom investment. The New York Daily News started in 1919 and has won 11 Pulitzer Prizes, one of them last year. Tronc faced backlash from staff at the Los Angeles Times, who formed a union and cast a spotlight on the cuts at Tronc-owned publications, despite high compensation going to top executives and other insiders. Last year, Tronc said it was paying Merrick Ventures, a private equity firm led by Tronc’s biggest shareholder, $5m (£3.8m) a year for “management expertise and technical services”. The newspaper company, which also owns the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, subsequently sold the Los Angeles Times. Tronc bought the New York Daily News, which favours the punchy headlines common in British tabloids, for $1 last year. A memo on Monday to New York Daily News staff said the smaller newsroom would in future focus on breaking news, “especially in areas of crime, civil justice and public responsibility”. Top editors at the paper have lost their jobs as part of the cuts, including editor-in-chief Jim Rich and managing editor Kristen Lee.