Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Daily News

The Daily News-Chicago, IL

The Chicago Daily News was an afternoon paper, and was published between 1876 and 1978. It had a pretty long and illustrious history, and managed to win thirteen Pulitzers during it's lifetime. The Daily News opened one of the first foreign bureaus in American journalism, doing so in 1898. This was one of several innovations introduced during the tenure of longtime owner Victor F. Lawson, who also oversaw changes in promotion, classified advertising, and the syndication of news stories and comics. Aiming at a wider audience than the Chicago Tribune, the Daily News was priced low and became known for it's distinctively aggressive reporting style. In 1929, it moved to new headquarters, an Art Deco edifice along the Chicago River, that stands today as a Chicago landmark called Riverside Plaza.

After a long period of ownership by Knight Newspapers, the Daily News was bought by Field Enterprises, which also owned the Chicago Sun-Times. The News moved into the Sun-Times' building on North Wabash (now the site of the Trump building). Although the paper was still strong, and had added Mike Royko to the masthead, the sixties and seventies were mostly a period of decline for the Daily News. Partly due to management decisions, a bigger problem was shifting demographics. Afternoon papers in general were in decline-targeted at office workers, many of the News' core readership moved to the suburbs where they probably caught the news on television rather than in the paper. By 1978 it was all over.

Amazingly, for a newspaper that stopped publication over thirty years ago, Daily News ghost signs still turn up in Chicago. This one's on the North Side, near the Armitage Brown Line stop.

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