In a stop-the-presses surprise that rocked the media world, the owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times has acquired the New York Daily News. The news was first reported late Monday by the New York Times and later confirmed in a press release.
Tronc announced that it has added New York City’s zesty “Hometown Newspaper” to its media holdings, expanding its reach to 10 major markets, including all of the top three.
Under the terms of the transaction, tronc assumed operational and pension liabilities of the New York Daily News. Reports said tronc paid a token price of one dollar for the company, its website, printing plant and real estate.
“We are excited to welcome the New York Daily News team to the tronc family, and we look forward to working with them to serve new audiences and marketers while delivering value for our shareholders,” Justin Dearborn, CEO of tronc, said in a statement. “As part of the tronc portfolio, the New York Daily News will provide us with another strategic platform for growing our digital business, expanding our reach and broadening our services for advertisers and marketers.”
It’s a homecoming of sorts for the New York Daily News, which had been owned by Chicago-based Tribune Co., predecessor of tronc, from its founding in 1919 until 1991.
The deal culminated months of negotiations between tronc executives and Mortimer Zuckerman, the billionaire real estate developer who has owned the paper since 1993.
It also ended a losing streak for tronc chairman Michael Ferro, who had failed to complete transactions to acquire the Sun-Times and US Weekly magazine in recent weeks.
“Under the ownership of Mortimer Zuckerman, the New York Daily News was awarded five Pulitzer Prizes recognizing their commitment to quality journalism that serves the citizens of New York City and the surrounding area," Timothy Knight, president of tronc, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing this great tradition and appreciate his faithful stewardship as its owner.”