NY Daily News Falls to Tronc for Buck

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Betting on the future of newspapers, Tronc, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, has acquired the venerable New York Daily News.

The liabilities and pensions that Tronc will take over equal over $100 million, according to those familiar with this deal, who requested to remain anonymous.

Tronc is taking on operational and pension liabilities (which may come to $30M), which it plans to meet from Daily News cash flow.

However, the cost to Tronc could be knocked in half, to about $3.5 million, as part of a joint venture with Zuckerman-related entities, which would own the land and then lease it to the Daily News for $1 per year.

Noting that tronc's predecessor company, The Tribune Company, founded the New York Daily News, Dearborn added, "With the New York Daily News back under our umbrella, tronc will serve 10 major USA markets, including each of the top three, hold 105 Pulitzers and have over 80 million unique monthly digital visitors".

New York Daily News, New York City's "working class" tabloid, once boasted a circulation of two million readers a day in the 1940s. The News was long owned by The Tribune Company, which spun off Tribune Publishing in 2014.

Tronc and its rivals that included Gannett Co. and Hearst Corp are acquiring more papers so they have economies of scale as the drop in print advertising and small gains in growth of digital ads cut valuations for newspaper and magazine brands.

4, the U.S.'s third-largest newspaper chain announced a deal to buy the longtime financially-ailing New York Daily News from investor Mort Zuckerman. Tronc now also owns more newspapers in the Northeast, including the Hartford Courant in CT and the Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which may help save on printing costs.

Browne, who previously indicated his intention to retire from the paper, has agreed to stay until the end of 2017 and will report to Tronc President Timothy Knight. The newspaper group will now operate in 10 major U.S. markets and have more than 80mn unique monthly digital visitors.

As for the Daily News itself, it noted the sale on Tuesday's cover-without losing sight of its tabloid-y ways.

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