Yale Daily News

Founded in 1878, The Yale Daily News is the nation’s oldest college daily newspaper and remains financially and editorially independent. It publishes Monday through Friday during the academic year, as well as a weekly WKND supplement, a monthly Magazine and several special issues such as the Yale-Harvard Game Day Issue, Commencement Issue and First Year Issue. The News collaborates with Yale’s cultural centers and affiliated student groups to produce the annual Multicultural Issue, a celebration of the diversity of our community. The News is published online every day, on-campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at off-campus locations on Monday through Friday during the school year.

The Daily News has a long history of sensational pictorial coverage and a willingness to go further than its competitors in search of attention-grabbing headlines. In 1928, for example, a reporter strapped a hidden camera to his leg during Ruth Snyder’s electrocution and captured the famous image of her mid-shock. The result was a front page headline that read “DEAD!”

But it was the 1970s when The Daily News became truly legendary. On October 30, 1975, it rolled out what would be its most famous headline, one that blared, “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” While the front page grabbed everyone’s attention, the News was losing $1 million a month at this point and considered closing altogether. However, severance pay and pensions made this a cost-prohibitive option.

Despite losing readers to its more snazzy rival, the New York Post, the Daily News continued to be a major player in city politics and news. By the late 1980s, though, circulation had slipped to below 800,000 copies per day, a third of its 1940s heyday. The rot began when the Tribune Company, which had acquired the paper in 1984, attempted to cut costs by making changes to its union contracts. This led to a strike that lasted 147 days and saw the Daily News losing 145,000 daily subscribers.

By 1992, the News was losing millions of dollars per month and considering selling itself to another publisher. In the end, it stayed with the Tribune Company and was eventually purchased by controversial British media mogul Robert Maxwell, who also owned the Daily Mirror. He was unable to stem the losses, and in 2017, the newspaper’s former owners, the Tribune Publishing Company (rebranded as Tronc), sold it for the remarkable sum of one dollar.