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Daily News editor is retiring -- and Tronc hasn't hired a replacement

As of Monday, the New York Daily News won't have an editor in chief or a publisher.Arthur Browne, the veteran ...

Posted: Jan 1, 2018 10:46 AM
Updated: Jan 1, 2018 10:46 AM

As of Monday, the New York Daily News won't have an editor in chief or a publisher.

Arthur Browne, the veteran editor who has been juggling both jobs, is retiring on December 31. The paper's new owner, Tronc, knew about his impending retirement when it bought the paper in September -- but hasn't hired a replacement.

So the storied New York City tabloid will operate without official leadership for the time being.

When CNN contacted him on Friday, Browne confirmed that his successor has yet to be named. "The office will be broom clean when she or he arrives," he said.

Publishers sometimes name an interim editor, but not in this case.

"We are in the midst of a search for the next editor in chief of the New York Daily News and expect to make an announcement in the next few weeks," a Tronc spokeswoman told CNN.

The company declined to say whether there is also an ongoing search for a new publisher.

Major newspapers have historically had separate editors and publishers, with the editor running the newsroom side and the publisher overseeing the business side. But in most of its markets, Tronc (previously known as Tribune) has merged the editor and publisher jobs.

(Earlier this year, however, Tronc again split the two jobs when it replaced the editor-publisher of the Los Angeles Times.)

Browne, a longtime deputy editor at the Daily News, was named editor in chief back in October 2016, when Mortimer B. Zuckerman still owned the paper. When Zuckerman decided to sell in September 2017, Tronc added publisher responsibilities to Browne's plate.

But Browne had previously told Zuckerman that he planned to retire by mid-2018. When Tronc took over, he agreed to stay until the end of 2017, giving the new owner about four months to find a successor.

Tronc was not exactly embraced by Daily News staffers. The publisher has been criticized for deep cost cuts at papers like Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Its digital strategy, full of false starts and do-overs, has been derided by analysts and onlookers. There was fresh criticism this month when an SEC filing revealed that Tronc chairman Michael Ferro is being paid $5 million per year for the next three years.

So as Browne's retirement date neared, colleagues started to wonder aloud -- what's Tronc going to do? Who's going to run the paper?

It's become something of a mystery.

"I've never heard of a paper functioning without at least an acting editor in chief for any period of time," Browne's predecessor Jim Rich told CNN. "At a moment where local coverage is teetering on the brink of extinction, it's depressing to think that this is the state of affairs at what was once a stalwart of local journalism."

Rich is working on launching a nonprofit local news site for the New York area.

Browne told CNN he does not have another job lined up.

"This former copy boy plans to join my colleagues on New Year's Eve to witness the brilliant construction of my last Daily News front page," Browne said. "I am departing from the Daily News because after almost 44 years it's time to find new interesting, fun, rewarding ways to spend my time. I am exploring several very different paths so at this point: Who knows?"

In a statement, Tronc celebrated Browne's tenure at the newspaper.

"A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Arthur has served as editor in chief, editorial page editor and led a team that won a Pulitzer for Ground Zero illnesses in 2007. He has led the newsroom through a time of rapid change and we are grateful," the company said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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