History of the Daily News

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In the early 20th century, the New York Daily News — founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson as the Illustrated Daily News — found abundant subject matter in political wrongdoing and social intrigue such as the romance between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII that led to his abdication. Its tabloid format made it a popular read. The News also specialized in photography; it was an early user of the Associated Press wirephoto service, and its staff became famous for their ability to capture candid photos.

The News was headquartered in the News Building at 220 East 42nd Street (now known as Manhattan West) from 1929 to 1995, a landmark building designed by architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood. It was the inspiration for the Daily Planet building in the first two Superman films. The News moved to a larger space in the city’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in 1995, but its old building still houses the world headquarters of the Associated Press and the former News subsidiary WPIX-TV.

For decades, the Daily News was locked in a circulation battle with its even more sensational rival tabloid, the New York Post, but survived as one of the city’s top-selling newspapers. It grew to have local bureaus in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan and maintained offices inside the city’s government center at One Police Plaza and at City Hall. It also owned a radio station, WPIX-FM, with call letters taken from its nickname as “New York’s Picture Newspaper.”

Today, the Daily News is printed in color, and its editorial stance is described by the New York Times as “flexibly centrist” with a “high-minded, if populist, legacy”. The paper endorsed Republican candidates in its early years and supported isolationism in the 1940s, but gradually shifted to a more liberal position in line with its sister publication, the Chicago Tribune. It also maintains a high-profile opinion page and hosts events around town. In addition to the main Daily News, its publisher produces a weekly supplement called WEEKEND and various special issues each year in collaboration with Yale’s cultural centers and affiliated student groups. The paper is owned by Tronc, a publicly traded company that owns the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Publishing.