- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2018

The New York Daily News laid off half its editorial staff on Monday as part of a broader effort to move away from opinion writing and focus more on breaking news.

“We are fundamentally restructuring the Daily News,” parent company Tronc, which purchased the troubled newspaper last summer for a mere $1, said in an email to staff on Monday, HuffPost reported.

“We are reducing today the size of the editorial team by approximately 50 percent and re-focusing much of our talent on breaking news — especially in areas of crime, civil justice and public responsibility,” the email read. “The decisions being announced today reflect the realities of our business and the need to adapt in an ever-changing media environment … They are not a reflection on the significant talent that is leaving today. Let there be no doubt: these colleagues are highly valued and will be missed.”

The notice said the employees affected would be hearing from the human resources department before the end of the day. An outside security company was hired for Monday and Tuesday for when the pink slips start rolling out, sources told the New York Post.

Rumors started swirling about the coming layoffs on Sunday after Tronc sent an email to staff telling them to “plan to be in the New York newsroom on Monday at 9 a.m. for an important message” from Executive Vice President of digital Grant Whitmore.

In that meeting, which lasted less than a minute, Mr. Whitmore told employees to “bear with us, today will be difficult,” a source in the newsroom told the Post.

Laid-off staffers were reportedly presented with a 90-day severance package.

Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich, among those who lost his job Monday, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.

“If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you,” he wrote.

His Twitter bio was also changed from Daily News Editor-in-Chief to, “Just a guy sitting at home watching journalism being choked into extinction.”

Robert York will be the new editor-in-chief, NBC News reported.

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