It is absolute chaos in the Los Angeles Times newsroom as another legacy media outlet suffers a major implosion.
But the California-based paper isn’t the only massive media outlet that’s in very serious trouble.
Now another major legacy media outlet is in complete chaos as it begins to meltdown as people turn their backs on the newspapers they used to trust.
New York Daily News sees union walkout
The New York Daily News just saw its first work stoppage in three decades after staffers walked off the job.
Workers were protesting “chronic cuts” recently made by its hedge fund owners that “shrink the budget to fill their pockets,” according to union members and leaders.
Approximately 40 members of the Daily News union walked in a picket line in the rain near the newspaper’s co-working space located in an office building in Midtown Manhattan.
According to union leaders, that co-working space can only fit six people at a time.
The paper calls itself “New York’s Hometown Newspaper,” but it’s been without a home since it gave up its Lower Manhattan headquarters during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The infamous vulture hedge fund Alden Global Capital scooped up the 104-year-old newspaper in May 2021, and the purchase was part of a massive $633 million acquisition of Tribune Publishing.
According to some insiders, Daily News workers have “quit in droves” under Alden’s thumb, and new policies require the smaller skeleton crew to get pre-approval if they require overtime pay.
Union steward and Daily News reporter Michael Gartland said, “Alden wants to act as if we are not being chiseled. We’re not going to engage in that intellectual dishonesty. In reality, we’re being crushed for cash. As a result, staff is diminished, which means our ability to cover the city is diminished. We believe this is bad for New York.”
Another point of contention is the fact that staffers have not received a pay raise in six years.
The salaries of Daily News workers were cut by as much as 15% during COVID, mostly because of the lower expenses for workers who no longer needed to physically come into an office.
However, those wage slashes were never recovered after the pandemic ended.
Dark times ahead
It appears the Daily News is in dire trouble, as it faces low circulation numbers that have fallen to less than 60,000.
The paper’s website showcases a variety of updated stories that are released during the day and are written by some non-union staffers who also struggle to release a daily print edition.
Journalists who joined the walkout asked people on the street to sign a letter campaign to Daily News Executive Director Andrew Julien.
According to the journalists, “It’s time to stop draining resources and fighting its workers on overtime.”
In 2021, editorial staff voted to form a union as part of the News Guild of New York, although Alden hasn’t done any bargaining for a first contract.
Close to 50 workers participated in the walkout, which accounts for over 94% of the union.
The last time the paper saw a work stoppage was when it was at its peak circulation of 2.4 million, resulting in a 147-day strike in 1991.
Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.