The Daily News Is Now a Newspaper Without a Newsroom

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A tabloid once famous for its bustling, big-city newsroom no longer has a newsroom.

In a move that was unthinkable before the coronavirus pandemic, Tribune Publishing said on Wednesday that The Daily News, once the largest-circulation newspaper in the country, was permanently closing its newsroom at 4 New York Plaza in Lower Manhattan.

“With no clear path forward in terms of returning to work, and as the company evaluates its real estate needs in light of health and economic conditions brought about by the pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close the office,” said Max Reinsdorf, a spokesman for Tribune Publishing, the Chicago newspaper chain that has owned The Daily News since 2017.

The paper will continue to be published. The company made no promises about a future physical location. “As we progress through the pandemic and as needs change, we will reconsider our need for physical offices,” Mr. Reinsdorf said. “We will keep employees informed of decisions as they are made.”

Newsroom workers were given until Oct. 30 to collect any belongings they had left in the office.

The Daily News was not the only Tribune Publishing paper to lose its office space on Wednesday. A Tribune Publishing spokesman confirmed that the Annapolis, Md., newsroom of The Capital Gazette — the site two years ago of a tragedy, when a gunman killed five staff members in the newsroom — would also be shutting down.

In its 20th-century heyday, The Daily News was a brawny tabloid that thrived when it dug into crime and corruption. It served as a model for The Daily Planet, the paper that counted Clark Kent and Lois Lane among its reporters, and for the tabloid depicted in the 1994 movie “The Paper.”

It has been in financial trouble for decades. Mortimer B. Zuckerman, the New York real estate developer and media mogul, bought the paper out of bankruptcy in 1993. He sold it to Tribune Publishing, then known as Tronc, in 2017 for $1. (That is not a misprint.)

Two years ago, the new owner slashed the newsroom staff in half and ousted its top editor, Jim Rich, who had reinvigorated the tabloid as an anti-Trump answer to The New York Post, the rival paper owned by Rupert Murdoch. The company replaced Mr. Rich with Robert York, a media executive who has spent most of his career in San Diego.

The longtime home of the columnists Jimmy Breslin, Dick Young and Liz Smith, The Daily News reveled in its role as the voice of the average New Yorker. Etched into the stone above the entrance of its former home, the Daily News Building on East 42nd Street, is a phrase attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “God must have loved the common man, he made so many of them.”

The paper moved downtown in 2011. With fewer readers buying copies from newsstands, The Daily News, under Tribune Publishing, has emphasized its website. And now its New York Plaza office is up for grabs.

“We have determined that we do not need to reopen this office in order to maintain our current operations,” Toni Martinez, a human resources executive at Tribune Publishing, wrote in an email to the staff, which was reviewed by The New York Times. “With this announcement, we are also beginning to look at strategic opportunities and alternatives for future occupancy.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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