News Corp. snuffs out The Daily
First iPad newspaper is closing as company readies split
December 4, 2012
The first iPad newspaper is going the way of so many print publications these days.
News Corp. is shutting down The Daily, the tablet title that launched a little under two years ago amid claims that it would revolutionize newspapering.
Though the Daily fell laughably short of that goal, News Corp. deserves credit for trying something new at a time when no one is quite sure what the future holds for the newspaper business.
The company announced The Daily’s closure this morning as it released new details on the company’s upcoming split into two separate entities.
One, which will retain the News Corp. moniker, will be focused on publishing and will include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Harper Collins.
The company confirmed the rumor that broke over the weekend that Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson will oversee this company.
The other half of News Corp. will morph into Fox Group and will include Fox Broadcasting, Fox News and the 20th Century Fox studio.
News Corp. chairman and chief executive officer Rupert Murdoch will remain chairman of News Corp. and CEO of Fox Group, which will also retain Chase Carey as president and chief operating officer.
The Daily simply didn’t fit into the vision for the new publishing company.
The publication had 100,000 subscribers but it was not profitable and had already laid off a third of its staff over the summer. The remaining 100 will have a chance to move into new positions at News Corp. Jess Angelo, editor of The Daily and executive editor of the Post, will become publisher of the Post.
The Daily certainly had some editorial problems, with critics saying the content was not unique enough to warrant a subscription. It also suffered through some technological issues in itsearly days, but that was not why it went under.
The biggest problem was that the product was trying to reach a relatively small audience. Even the most optimistic of estimates put tablet ownership at just under 30 percent of all Americans.
That means 70 percent of the population has no reason to subscribe to the Daily, which is a tough way to run a business.
Murdoch admitted as much in his statement today announcing the paper’s closing.
“From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation," he said in a statement. "Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.”
There’s no question that there will be future tablet-only publications as the devices become more ubiquitous.
What will be interesting is to see what they learn from the Daily’s failings.
Tags: audience, Fox Broadcasting, Fox Group, ipad, ipad newspaper, murdoch, news corp shutting down the daily, news corp the daily, news corp., operating officer, publishing, robert thomson, tablet, the daily, the daily closing, The Wall Street Journal, wall street journal
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