The New York Daily News ousted its top editor in an unexpected shakeup on Monday.
The 102-year-old paper said its editor-in-chief Robert York is being replaced on an interim and “as-needed” basis by Andrew Julien, the editor and publisher of its sibling publication, The Hartford Courant.
Julien will remain top editor of The Courant while a search for a permanent editor takes place, the company said. Daily News owner Tribune Publishing didn’t return requests for further comment on the surprise shuffle.
The announcement, which is effective immediately, was made via memos sent to Daily News and Courant staffers.
“This is to inform you that effective immediately, Andrew Julien will be serving as interim editor-in-chief on an as-needed basis of the New York Daily News, replacing Robert York,” the memo said.
The note added that Julien has a career spanning “more than 25 years” and that he “grew up in New York.”
York, who was editor and publisher of Tribune title The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2018, grabbed the reins of editor-in-chief of The Daily News in 2020.
In May, Tribune, which also owns The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and The Orlando Sentinel, was bought by the cost-slashing New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital in a deal worth $633 million.
The deal made Alden, which also owns newspapers through its MediaNews Group subsidiary, the second-largest newspaper chain in the United States behind USA Today owner, Gannett.
Since the acquisition, The Daily News and The Courant enacted buyouts, allowing the publications to reduce the headcount of the already lean mastheads. At the time, the NewsGuild, the union that represents journalists at both publications, said just eight Daily News staffers and five Courant employees took the buyouts.
Alden’s acquisition of Tribune was fiercely opposed by journalists at the media company, as the hedge fund is known for ruthless cost-cutting and layoffs. Journalists sought for Tribune management to seek local owners that wouldn’t necessarily take a scalpel to the business.
The latest upheaval at Daily News comes days after the paper announced it hired former New York Post gossip columnist and Page Six editor Richard Johnson, who recently came out of retirement.