The Daily News – Forged to Kill

Daily News

Founded in 1919, Daily News was the first successful tabloid newspaper in the United States. The paper reached its peak circulation in 1947 at 2.4 million copies per day. Its editorial style and sensational headlines helped propel it to the forefront of America’s tabloid newspapers. It was also the most read newspaper in New York City until it was surpassed by the rival New York Post. The paper’s art deco News Building in downtown Manhattan was often used as the backdrop for movies.

The newspaper’s founder, Joseph Medill Patterson, was inspired by the Chicago Tribune, which had been publishing in that city since 1857. When the two co-publishers disagreed on the style and content of the newspaper, Patterson decided to launch a separate tabloid in his hometown of New York City.

In the 1930s, the Daily News was an early user of Associated Press wirephotography and employed a staff of reporters who covered major news stories of the time. In 1928, the paper gained national attention when a Daily News photographer strapped a camera to his leg and snapped a picture of Ruth Snyder being electrocuted in the electric chair, earning the newspaper its famous slogan, “Daily News: Forged to Kill.”

The daily editions of the News were sold at newsstands throughout the city and its suburbs, and by mail to subscribers. The newspaper was one of the first to establish a circulation department, which managed to increase sales and ensured delivery to all addresses. During the Depression, the newspaper also introduced a number of innovations to its business model. For example, it offered a weekly subscription discount to households that bought six or more copies. In addition, it began a free delivery service to suburban residents.

By the end of the 20th century, Daily News was still a top selling newspaper but its circulation had declined significantly from its mid-20th century heyday. In 1995, the newspaper left its home of 65 years, the News Building, and moved to a single floor office at 5 Manhattan West. The newspaper also launched the successful BET Weekend insert in 1996.

In 2017, the newspaper’s circulation continued to decline and Tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing Company) purchased it for the symbolic sum of $1. That same year, the newspaper embarked on a massive cost cutting spree and fired half of its staff, including editor-in-chief Jim Rich. In the wake of these changes, the Daily News has struggled to find its place in the modern media landscape.