My initial reaction was the Daily News, which used to have the biggest circulation of any newspaper in the country, was ending publication. Instead, it's asking employees to clear out their desks and work remotely, which many people have been doing during pandemic lockdowns.
The newspaper's parent company, Tribune Publishing, also closed four other newsrooms -- the Orlando Sentinel in Florida, the Carroll County Times in Maryland, the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. and the Morning Callin Allentown, Pa.
Ideally, the closures won't be permanent, and instead, are a chance for these publications to re-evaluate how much office space they need. Many other companies are making similar appraisals, as they either cut costs or consider how to maintain work-from-home arrangements.
Newspapers can operate virtual newsrooms with editors working from home and reporters out on their beats, but they also lose a chance for richer conversations among staffers, who never see each other face-to-face.
With most newspapers now posting stories to their websites around the clock, it's still important for them to have an editorial nerve center that can quickly post breaking news -- and blast it out in emails and text messages -- if they offer those services.
I expect the Daily Newsand Tribune's other publications to find a way to re-open their newsrooms after considering how much space they will need for more flexible work arrangements. Some people will want to continue working from home if it's feasible, while plenty of others will relish the idea of getting back to their offices after months in isolation.