Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo Wants the State to Save a Failing Newspaper

After the struggling New York Daily News laid off about half of its staff yesterday, Gov. Cuomo offered to help.

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Kristin Callahan/ACE Pictures/Newscom

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated that the state might be willing to bail out the struggling New York Daily News, which laid off about half of its staff yesterday.

The Daily News has been in dire straits for some time, having lost about $90 million over the past three years. Though more than 2 million copies of the print edition were distributed daily in the 1940s, daily circulation dropped to about 200,000 by 2017. And last September, the newspaper was bought by media publishing giant Tronc for just $1.

So it shouldn't have come as any real surprise when staffers at the struggling paper received an email yesterday morning that said Tronc would be "fundamentally restructuring the Daily News." The newspaper's business model simply wasn't working, and changes were needed.

But Cuomo doesn't think layoffs are the answer, saying in a statement that the cuts "will undoubtedly devastate many households and hurt an important New York institution and one of our nation's journalism giants." The Democratic governor claimed the layoffs were made "without notifying the State or asking for assistance," and noted that his father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, "came to the aid of the New York Post when it was facing difficult financial times" because he "understood the value of a robust free press." Cuomo went on to plead with Tronc to "reconsider this drastic move" and said he's "ready to work with them to avert this disaster."

"I understand that large corporations often only see profit and dividends as a bottom line," Cuomo said. "But in New York, we also calculate loss of an important institution, loss of jobs, and the impact on the families affected. I hope Tronc does the same and recalculates its decision. New York State stands ready to help."

Cuomo's concern is understandable. As governor of the state, he doesn't want to see people lose their jobs. But providing the Daily News with a bailout or other form of government assistance probably isn't the answer.

Like many of the country's newspapers, the Daily News is struggling to adapt in the age of digital news. Does that mean all those other papers should receive government assistance as well? Of course not. Journalism itself isn't dying; papers like the Daily News simply need to figure out how to turn a profit, or other outlets that can will take their place.

Cuomo's statement also raises another issue: A publicly funded press is not a free press. Politico's Jack Shafer summarized this concern well when critiquing New Jersey's experiment in state-funded news earlier this month:

Even if the consortium stays clean, won't it avoid politically charged stories of great watchdogging potential because it will fear to bite the hand that feeds it? Government-funded news outfits like NPR and PBS, ever fearful of offending their funding sources, avoid hard-hitting government news for this reason. Public media may follow the news pack on a story about government corruption, but generally, they're too compromised to lead.

The Daily News has stuck around for more than a century, and it's sad to see the newspaper struggle. But it's not Cuomo's problem to fix.

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  1. Leave it to Cuomo to want to give money to a business model that is on it’s death bed and will not recover.

    1. As was asked on Twitter…shouldn’t people in failing industries learn how to code or something? I’ve heard that said about miners…

  2. …Mario Cuomo, “came to the aid of the New York Post when it was facing difficult financial times” because he “understood the value of a robust free press.”

    Those two things don’t really go together.

  3. “The Daily News has stuck around for more than a century, and it’s sad to see the newspaper struggle.”

    I’ll take things never said about a manufacturing plant closing for $500, Alex

    1. Maybe these newspaper writers should find a job not in a dying industry. Learn coding or something, you stupid clingers

      1. Perhaps newspapers should become tax-exempt civic institutions — if this causes fiscal difficulties a small tax on churches could address any problems — hand government should stay out of the business subsidy business.

        1. Newspapers exist for profit. Churches provide charity. Why on earth would newspapers receive a tax-exemption?

          Carry on, clinger

          1. Nonprofit newspapers would be eligible for tax exemption.

            Churches spend most of their money on entertainment, child care services, summer camps, and similar noncharitable activities.

            You sound like a superstitious dope.

            1. If it’s a nonprofit newspaper that would be different. They would be exempt from income taxes and depending on the city maybe property taxes.

              Churches are still the largest source of welfare in the country and the world at large. The Catholic Church alone has a welfare system that dwarfs any state institution.

              You sound like a mindless clinger.

            2. You sound like someone who has never been involved with a church.

              1. My comment was to the Rev.

            3. Breaking news: Kirkland wants women to be chained to their kitchen! Suggests child care services are a scam and that women should never work!

            4. “”Nonprofit newspapers would be eligible for tax exemption.””

              I believe non-profits suppose to be non-political.

            5. Churches are nonprofit institutions. Are you suggesting that we treat these particular forms of nonprofit institutions differently than other nonprofits? But sure, you’re not an anti-religious bigot.

            6. Nonprofit newspapers would be eligible for tax exemption.

              Well, the NYDN was even BETTER than non-profit. It was ANTI-profit. I bet they’re worth a ton of tax breaks and all.

              Shouldn’t those bitter clinger writers learn marketable and useful skills?

            7. I posted a joke on another site just this morning, that perhaps the Democratic Party, under the leadership of it’s “new face” should subsidize such newspapers. They could rename them Pravda.

              I surely did not mean for Cuomo to read that and actually run with it; damn!

        2. Exactly. If freedom of religion means separation of church and state, then freedom of the press means separation of journalism and the state.

        3. Non-profit newspapers already exist. As a group, they are struggling with exactly the same problems as the for-profit newspapers. Government handouts won’t solve it for them, either.

          And by the way, your anti-religion bias is boring.

    2. My first job was delivering the New York Daily News when I was 13. It was a shitty job, for which I had to get up at 5 am to deliver the paper, and then spend my evenings harrassing people to collect their subscription payments, hoping they would be home and that they would tip me. But I had my own money for the first time, which I promptly spent on Nintendo video games. What do kids do these days as their first job?

      1. YouTube videos?

        1. Progress!

      2. Walk dogs.

      3. A lot of ‘kids’ first jobs these days are post high school. No more paperboys (can I say that?) around here.

        Up this way, most of my friends would work at restaurants or resorts on Cape Cod all summer long. Washing dishes, busing and waiting tables.

      4. Become CEOs of major corporation?

  4. Sorry, but we all know that government getting involved with and having opinions on journalism is fascism.

  5. A hundred years ago Cuomo would have been bailing out the buggy whip industry.

    1. Why reach back a century. Some never-gonna-learn yahoos are trying to push air into the black lungs of the coal industry and its walking corpse workforce as we speak.

      1. Lemme guess: you work for a newspaper. It would explain a lot.

      2. So, coal is every inch as unprofitable but at least provides energy to millions of people so they can live better lives?

        The NYDN? Well, they have snappy covers for Facebook likes and shit.

    2. But he is also dead set against fracking, so that’s something.

  6. “layoffs were made without notifying the State or asking for assistance”

    Winners aren’t going to pick themselves

  7. Fuck Cuomo. I am driving over the Tappan Zee Bridge tomorrow!

    1. I don’t remember if there was any corruption on building the new Tappan Zee. If so, then Mario Cuomo might be a good name for it.

      1. A government project using union labor…you should be ashamed of yourself for even entertaining the notion!!!

        1. Yeah, silly me.

    2. At least the Kosciuszko bridge is keeping it’s name.

      There’s a really good PBS documentary on Kosciuszko. One of the biggest unsung heroes of the American Revolution.

      1. You mean the bridge wasn’t named after the mustard? One of the funniest on TV when I was young was a new to the area reporter telling a news story about an accident on the bridge. Obviously had no idea how to pernounce the name and also obviously wasn’t of Polish decent.

        1. I pronounce it like the Australian mountain because that the was first time I heard the word – in a Midnight Oil song: kozzy-US-ko

  8. Journalism itself isn’t dying; papers like the Daily News simply need to figure out how to turn a profit, or other outlets that can will take their place.

    Two words: Trump 24/7.

    1. It’s probably not a coincidence that the Daily News is an openly partisan rag that cheerleads for any Democrat policy and demonizes Republicans. They actually make the NYT look balanced.

      This is the same newspaper who had a reporter (pathetic nerd Gersh Kuntzman) claim he got PTSD from firing an AR-15.

  9. “Andrew Cuomo Wants the State to Save a Failing Newspaper”

    Oh, God, why couldn’t it have been the NY Times?

    As for it not being Cuomo’s problem to fix, it could be. He could use his OWN money to BUY the paper.

    Of course THAT thought probably never occurred to him. Statist vermin.

    1. The pension fund was just sitting there.

    2. Unlike the NYT, the Daily News doesn’t have a Mexican sugar daddy to keep it afloat.

  10. “But providing the Daily News with a bailout or other form of government assistance probably isn’t the answer.” Probably?

  11. Journalism itself isn’t dying

    No; it is committing suicide.

    1. And not even an honorable one at that.

  12. “I understand that large corporations often only see profit and dividends as a bottom line,” Cuomo said. “But in New York, we also calculate loss of an important institution, loss of jobs, and the impact on the families affected. I hope Tronc does the same and recalculates its decision. New York State stands ready to help.”

    Leftists simply cannot, or refuse to, understand that if a private company is unprofitable for a sufficient amount of time, they cannot continue as a going concern. It’s like how they believe that commercial banks should be run as charitable organizations.

  13. As a libertarian, I cannot support direct government funding of a newspaper. Instead, I’d rather see funding come from billionaires, on the condition the paper’s editorial direction complements the policy agenda those billionaires wish to enact. Perhaps the Koch Brothers could assume control of the NYDN, and get its writers to promise at least 10 stories per day showing immigration in a positive light.

    #LibertariansForPressFreedom

    1. Dude, fix your mask. The alt-right rictus underneath is peeking through.

      1. “OBL-t is really a commie!” say some.

        “No, OBL-t is really alt-right!” insist others.

        “OBL-t actually has no beliefs, and is merely a CHINESE ROOM!” according to a different theory.

        How about this explanation: “OBL-t genuinely agrees with Reason on most issues (except guns), and would like to see the Koch / Reason relationship extended to other media.” Is that so unlikely?

        1. “Except guns.” Now you’re just a troll.

        2. I just noticed the dash. Did you get banned?

  14. If Joe Seyton and Robbie Suave are the future of Reason dot com….I’m more than a little concerned.

  15. Well, that’s one way to get favorable news coverage as a politician.

  16. Christ, what an asshole.

  17. If you’re taking government money, your press ain’t free.

  18. his father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, “came to the aid of the New York Post when it was facing difficult financial times”

    Cuomo fils is leaving out the fact that the nature of this aid was not financial.

  19. Andrew Cuomo Wants the State to Save a Failing Newspaper
    After the struggling New York Daily News laid off about half of its staff yesterday, Gov. Cuomo offered to help.

    More proof that Lefties and the Lefty media are joined at the hip.

    1. It’s called Pravda, comrade.

  20. The only way newspapers are going to survive in the modern age is if some billionaire is willing to take them on as a loss leader, since their other sources of income will make up for what the news operation is actually costing them.

    The NYT and WaPo have billionaire investors, and thus are thriving. The Daily News does not, so it’s going to eventually go under. Locally, the Denver Post has been bleeding staff and will probably die if someone doesn’t pick it up soon. The Colorado Springs-Gazette, on the other hand, is owned by the billionaire Anschutz family, and is doing okay. That’s really all there is to it.

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