The New York Daily News was in for an unpleasant surprise when moments after a regular morning staff meeting, tronc, sent an email announcing the editorial staff would be cut by 50 percent and its editor-in-chief and managing editor were among that 50 percent.
A staff layoff such as this is not seen to be as dramatic nowadays as it once would have been, even to the Daily News staff. The cuts were seen as a long time coming, after many buyouts and layoffs in years past have been a sign that more were to come. While the editor-in-chief’s departure was not as foreseen as some of the others, tronc decided to oust Jim Rich when he refused to make large cuts at tronc’s request.
Rich tweeted “If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you,” expressing his rage and signaling that even more cuts are coming.
The NYDN follows a long list of publications that have been drained by corporate owners and consolidation, but the situation is made more extreme in the wake of President Trump issuing tariffs against newsprint. As the newspaper industry is slipping through the cracks, the tariffs provide yet another obstacle, forcing newspapers to slash costs more than ever. The tariffs have increased newspaper costs by 30 to 35 percent so far and for those that can’t afford their high cost, the papers are closing or becoming digital-only. Trump’s policies will spread throughout the country, affecting each newspaper they contact and the void that the journalists who have lost their jobs are creating will affect the industry and the nation as well.