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Ortt criticizes governor’s suggestion of bailout for Daily News in NYC

Staff Reports Posted 24 July 2018 at 10:58 am

The Daily News in New York City on Monday announced it was cutting half of its staff. The tabloid has won 11 Pulitzer prizes, including one last year for its coverage of the city’s eviction rules.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered state resources so the newspaper can avert layoffs.

The Daily News, now owned by Tronc, Inc., is apparently firing a major portion of their reporting staff,” the governor said. “This will undoubtedly devastate many households and hurt an important New York institution and one of our nation’s journalism giants.

“These layoffs were made without notifying the State or asking for assistance. My father, as Governor, came to the aid of the New York Post when it was facing difficult financial times. Even though the Post represented an opposing active partisan interest, my father understood the value of a robust free press. So do I.

“I urge Tronc to reconsider this drastic move and stand ready to work with them to avert this disaster. I understand that large corporations often only see profit and dividends as a bottom line. 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.”

State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, criticized the governor for offering state aid to the newspaper.

“From a fiscal and constitutional standpoint, I’m appalled at the Governor’s suggestion that New York taxpayers should bail out a private news outlet,” Ortt said in a statement. “In terms of the state’s fiscal priorities, I would hope that we would first focus on repairing our roads, funding our schools, and providing mental health and addiction recovery services.

“Maybe the Governor is trying to curry favor with a press corps that – aside from the occasional mansplaining to a female reporter or struggle to identify local issues that matter to New Yorkers – he’s downright avoided for years. Or maybe we’re seeing the where the radical, regressive left now stands on the First Amendment – believing that government should be a shareholder in a ‘free’ press. Having witnessed how the Governor’s office micromanages or mismanages public funds, I don’t believe there’s any way this proposal could fly.”

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