Mort Zuckerman has agreed to sell the long struggling New York Daily News to Chicago-based Tronc. The company adds the paper to its stable of dailies that includes the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Florida’s Orlando Sentinel and Sun-Sentinel, Allentown’s Morning Call, the Newport News, Va-based Daily Press, Hartford Courant and San Diego Union-Tribune. The real estate developer Zuckerman bought the Daily News out of bankruptcy in 1993, but his vision of dominating the tabloid landscape was never realized because Rupert Murdoch would not get out of the way even though his New York Post was said to be losing money ever year. This was well before the advent of digital, which made things even tougher. While the Post has been steadfast in its support of President Donald Trump, the rival tabloid Daily News has been critical. Deal price was a reported $1, plus assumption of liabilities and operating costs.
Tronc said its goal is to add the News to its fulcrum of digital-based publishing titles. That hasn’t been an easy transition. On August 21, Tronc reorganized the leadership of the LA Times, sacking editor and publisher Davan Maharaj and replacing him with former Fox and Yahoo exec Ross Levinsohn. Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, Deputy Managing Editor for Digital Megan Garvey and Assistant Managing Editor of Investigations Matt Doig were also terminated, and former Chicago Sun-Times Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk, now Tronc’s SVP Strategic Initiatives, became Interim Executive Editor.