The New York Daily News will this week become half of what it once was, at least in terms of staff. Parent company Tronc, which acquired the paper in September for $1, on Monday announced in a memo that it would be cutting its editorial staff by roughly 50% to focus more on digital news and "address the significant financial challenges we have faced for years." The AP reports revenues sank 22% between 2014 and 2016, and prior cuts had taken place. Those ousted include editor-in-chief Jim Rich, who NPR reports communicated his displeasure on Twitter, where he changed his bio to "Just a guy sitting at home watching journalism being choked into extinction."
The New York Times, which reports the newsroom staff had numbered 75 to 100, notes he tweeted the following at 1:40am Monday, "If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you." Robert York, editor of the Tronc-owned Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., will fill the slot. The memo says editorial efforts will be refocused around breaking news, "especially in areas of crime, civil justice and public responsibility. ... We will, of course, continue to cover local news, sports and other events, but our approach will evolve as we adapt to our current environment." Those given the boot will receive 90 days of severance. Marcus Baram worked for the paper in the late '90s and reports on how low morale was prior to these cuts in a piece for Fast Company. (Read more New York Daily News stories.)