Daily News weathers another round of layoffs
The Daily News began another round of cuts on Wednesday morning, marking the latest in a series of downsizings that have rocked the struggling tabloid over the past several years, POLITICO Media has learned.
The scope of the layoffs was unclear, but sources at the News said they would be companywide as opposed to concentrated solely in the newsroom.
The sources said Mike Lupica, a prominent columnist and longtime News employee, is among those who are heading out the door. News management and Lupica, who enjoyed one of the newsroom's top salaries, were unable to come to terms on a new contract, the sources said.
Others who received pink slips include sports editor Teri Thompson, sports writer Filip Bondy and political columnist Bill Hammond. More layoffs are expected to be handed down on Thursday.
"We do not discuss personnel issues," said a spokesperson for the News.
The cuts come just days after the News announced that Colin Myler, its editor in chief of more than three years, is leaving to move back to his native London. His executive editor, Jim Rich, is set to replace him at the end of the year.
News owner Mort Zuckerman had recently attempted a sale of the paper, which is said to lose between $20 million and $30 million a year. He took it off the market after failing to attract any serious bids during the six months the News and its Jersey City printing plant were on the block.
While the News has seen a significant increase in its digital audience in recent years, that hasn't been enough to counter a precipitous print circulation slide. As with all newspapers, advertising remains challenged as well.
As a result, the News has been no stranger to staff reductions. Earlier cullings since 2011 have claimed the jobs of high-profile longtime writers like Joanna Molloy and Albor Ruiz (who now freelances for the paper). It also shuttered its borough bureaus this year, a move than some saw as a symbolic death knell for a publication known as "New York's Hometown Newspaper."
At the same time, the News has been hiring writers to churn out content online. A few dozen entry-level web writers have begun working out of the Jersey City offices, which house the printing presses and various administrative departments.