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New York Daily News cuts half of its staff

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The New York Daily News announced on Monday plans to eliminate half of its newsroom as part of a broader effort to refocus the newspaper.

Daily News staff members were notified of the cuts in an email sent by the company’s human resources department. The note also detailed a new direction for the paper, with an increased focus on breaking news, particularly stories about crime, civil justice and public responsibility. The paper will still cover local news and sports, the email said.

Journalists for the newspaper were called to a 9 a.m. meeting and then told to wait for the email, which notified them of the cuts and the paper’s new direction.

The email also notified employees that editor-in-chief Jim Rich and managing editor Kristen Lee were among those leaving their jobs. Rich tweeted early Monday an ominous warning: “If you hate democracy and think local government should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you.”

Robert York will be the new editor-in-chief. He was most recently the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Morning Call, a newspaper serving eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.

York, speaking to Gothamist, a website that writes about New York, said that the news of the layoffs had caught him off guard

“I need to regroup and figure this out because there was a timing sequence to this that’s now, not being adhered to, in terms of the announcement,” York told Gothamist.

Various Daily News journalists tweeted that they had been let go from the paper, including Zach Haberman, who had been breaking news editor. In response, staff reporter Chelsia Rose Marcius posted a video that appeared to Haberman being clapped out of the newsroom, a tradition at many newspapers when a colleague departs.




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