NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — The union that represents reporters at the New York Daily News wrote a long thread attacking the renowned paper’s hedge fund owner Alden Global Capital for driving a mass exodus and compromising quality.
Twelve journalists have resigned in the last three months, roughly equivalent to 20% of the newsroom at the Daily News, according to the union.
“We’re down to two staff reporters to chase crimes on the street. Our sports department has been gutted. We lost our longtime back page editor. Our Metro editor left,” wrote the union’s official Twitter account. “We were already hanging on by a thread after Alden issues buyouts last year. Now we can barely put out the paper.”
We’re down to two staff reporters to chase crimes on the street. Our sports department has been gutted. We lost our longtime back page editor. Our Metro editor left.
We were already hanging on by a thread after Alden issues buyouts last year. Now we can barely put out the paper
Daily News Manager Mike Gates, who the union described as “hand-picked” by Alden, did not immediately respond to 1010 WINS’ request for comment.
The union also criticized Alden for ditching a 15-year-old printing plant in New Jersey in favor of an non-unionized, older plant farther away.
The hedge fund also gave up the paper’s lease in lower Manhattan during the pandemic.
Alden owns about 200 newspapers across the nation at which it’s carried out a similar predatory pattern of cutting staff and selling assets.
The union’s criticisms come amidst a collective bargaining process that’s dragging on almost a year after the union formed at the nation’s oldest tabloid in September 2021.
The Twitter thread called out Alden-installed Executive Editor Andrew Julien for refusing to attend bargaining sessions.
“While a number of staffers have recently moved on to outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN and Fox Sports, we have already filled a number of those openings and are actively recruiting for the others,” Julien told the Daily News’ biggest competitor the New York Post. “Any comments suggesting otherwise from unions trying to negotiate on social media should be taken with a grain of salt.”
An anonymous source told the Post the current staffing level is in the mid-40 range, down from last year when the 103-year-old paper had about 70 staff members.
Along with their own list of complaints, the union posted letters from readers disappointed in the drop in quality and output of the paper.
Our readers have taken notice. They keep sending in letters begging us to not just restore the coverage we’ve lost, but to expand the paper so we can better serve New Yorkers. pic.twitter.com/a4zFVEkAT8
For the New York Daily News Union, the explanation for the dip in quality is simple.
“Alden has made the paper a worse place to work.”