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Former New York Daily News editorial staff members embrace outside the newspaper's Manhattan office after reports that the paper was reducing its editorial staff by some 50 percent in New York, U.S., July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid


NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Daily News, the city's scrappy, 99-year-old tabloid, is laying off one-half of its editorial staff, as U.S. newspapers continue to crumple under sharply declining advertising and readership, it said on Monday.

The cuts at the Pulitzer Prize-winning daily paper, known for eye-catching front-page headlines and taking on the city's power players including real estate developer Donald Trump long before he was elected president, drew criticism from both average readers online and politicians who have bristled at how the paper covered them.

Owner Tronc Inc said the cuts are intended to make the paper a stronger competitor online.

"We are reducing today the size of the editorial team by approximately 50 percent and refocusing much of our talent on breaking news - especially in the areas of crime, civil justice and public responsibility," Tronc said in a memo to staff.

The Daily News employed about 85 journalists prior to the announcement, according to rival New York Post, owned by News Corp.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg, Additional reporting by Franklin Paul and Brendan McDermid; Editing by Scott Malone)

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