The Daily News

In the era before television and the internet, daily news was the primary source of information for many Americans. Daily newspapers were often crowded with articles and photos detailing political events, social occurrences, and business happenings around the world. They also provided a variety of other content such as comics, reader contests, and cartoon strips.

During the Roaring Twenties, the New York City Daily News quickly established itself as one of the nation’s leading papers by emphasizing sensational pictorial coverage and titillating subject matter. The newspaper was able to capitalize on the public’s interest in political wrongdoing (such as the Teapot Dome scandal) and social intrigue (such as Wallis Simpson’s romance with King Edward VIII). The Daily News also took a unique approach by offering a smaller tabloid format that was easier to read while riding on crowded subway trains.

By the late 1930s, the Daily News had grown to over a million readers per day. It was a powerful competitor that could not be easily dismissed, even by the more prestigious New York Times and the New York Post.

Although the paper enjoyed its greatest successes during this time, it was not without its dark days as well. In the early 1980s, the Daily News had lost money in every single month. In order to turn things around, the publisher negotiated with various unions and eventually settled on a series of pay cuts and staff reductions.

These changes were not enough to make up for the loss of revenue. In March 1991, controversial British media mogul Robert Maxwell purchased the Daily News from the Tribune Company. Maxwell was unable to revive the newspaper’s fortunes, and it soon dipped below 800,000 copies daily. Attempts were made to close the newspaper, but this was considered too costly for the severance and pension funds that would be owed to its employees.

In the 1990s, publisher Mortimer Zuckerman invested $60 million towards color presses in an effort to compete with the visual quality of USA Today. The investment proved successful, and by 1994 the Daily News was once again operating at a profit. The newspaper moved to a new building at 450 West 33rd Street (known as Manhattan West) in 1995, but the original News building at 220 East 42nd Street remains a NYC landmark designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood. The building now houses the headquarters for the Associated Press. The former headquarters of the News’ cable and satellite affiliate, WPIX-TV, still remain in the building. Each Daily News article includes “Comprehension and Critical Thinking” questions, which are found below the article and help students analyze and understand the news story. Each question is followed by suggested resources, including videos, maps, and links to articles that can provide additional information. These questions and answers are for use by teachers, parents, and students. If you wish, you can also sign up to receive a daily email with these questions. This email will contain the Daily News article with the day’s questions.