Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Robert York OUT As Top Editor At NY Daily News

The New York Daily News ousted its top editor in an unexpected shakeup on Monday, with insiders blaming ruthless cost-cutting by the paper’s new hedge-fund owner.

The crosstown NY Post reports the 102-year-old paper said its editor-in-chief, Robert York, is being replaced on an interim and “as-needed” basis by Andrew Julien, the editor and publisher of its sibling publication, the Hartford Courant.

Julien will remain top editor of the Courant while a search for a permanent editor takes place, the company said. Daily News owner Tribune Publishing didn’t return requests for further comment on the surprise shuffle.

Robert York
According to a source, York’s departure is the latest signal that the Daily News’ new owner, the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, isn’t looking for a powerful editor or publisher to run the paper. Instead, Alden appears set on making do with “a few dozen minions” that reports into a “corporate manager,” the source said.

The insider predicted York’s replacement will likewise be occupied more with the business side than the editorial, which is effectively run by managing editor Robert Dominguez.

Even so, some of York’s decisions did ruffle the feathers of the 70-plus-person newsroom.

Journalists complained about a focus under York on getting more “clicks” on trending stories to get advertisers in 2018-2019 versus installing a paywall. Only during the pandemic did the newspaper put up a metered paywall in order to pump up revenue.

York, who was editor and publisher of Tribune title the Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 2018, grabbed the reins as editor-in-chief of the Daily News in 2020.

In May, Tribune, which also owns the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and the Orlando Sentinel, was bought by Alden Global Capital in a deal worth $633 million.

The deal made Alden, which also owns newspapers through its MediaNews Group subsidiary, the second-largest newspaper chain in the United States behind USA Today owner Gannett.

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