‘Daily News America’ to launch by end of June

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The latest Daily News digital editor, Ted Young, arrived in the paper's newsroom this week, and he already appears to have made a splash.

Readers of nydailynews.com today may have noticed a design feature that's not all that common on the homepage—a gargantuan story placement (otherwise known as a "splash headline") taking up all the real estate "above the fold," to use an old newspaper term.

The loud web-editing convention was made famous by sites like The Drudge Report and The Huffington Post, and it's one that's also very familiar, along with heavy, heavy photo treatments, to the website Young used to oversee: Mail Online, the U.S.-friendly digital destination of the U.K.'s Daily Mail. 

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A News spokesman said the splash feature is not a new capability.

"It's been used intermittently by the Daily News," he said. "How, when and where splash will be used again is under discussion. But it won't be used tomorrow."

Nevertheless, News staffers expect some Mail Online-esque changes to be implemented on nydailynews.com in the coming weeks, such as larger images and more of them.

It's a successful strategy they're chasing. Mail Online, which for the past few years has been edited by Martin Clarke, has managed to become one of the most highly-trafficked news sites on the web by spotlighting tons of stories that are irresistible to Britons and U.S. readers alike.

The Daily News has been on a similar path, promoting heavily on its homepage all manner of scurrilous celebrity gossip; slideshows of the bizarre, gross and titillating; and national crime news (as well as a growing amount of global fare, too), while letting the print edition, for the most part, continue to speak to its workaday boroughs New York readership. The immediate payoff? A few million more monthly online visitors than the website of its age-old tabloid rival, The New York Post.

But the News has bigger targets in its cross-hairs: As we reported last month, the paper is preparing to launch a national website called Daily News America.

That's another project that must be keeping Young busy this week. It was already in development by the time his hiring was announced on May 2 by News editor-in-chief and fellow British expat Colin Myler. Young, whose first day was Monday, is now in a position to put his stamp on it. The offering is scheduled to go live at the end of June, the News spokesman confirmed.

In other News news, employees of the tabloid are cutting back on their calories as part of a weight-loss competition that begins Monday in conjunction with sister publication U.S. News & World Report.

Participating contestants paid $20 to be weighed every Friday for the next eight weeks. The News and U.S. News, both of which are owned by Mort Zuckerman, will double-match the registration fees, awarding a cash prize each to the publication and the individual who pull off the highest percentage of weight loss. Bonus: everyone who loses 7.5 percent or more of their starting weight gets a $50 gift card.