For the past 22 months, significant effort and money went toward Murdoch’s experiment, the first iPad daily publication that refreshed every morning and charged customers each week for 99 cents or each year for $40. But troubles were apparent when The Daily laid off a third of its staff this summer and now Murdoch is calling it quits.
“From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation,” Murdoch said in a press release. “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. Therefore we will take the very best of what we have learned at The Daily and apply it to all our properties.”
The move is part of a big organizational changes at News Corp. The company is splitting its publishing entities into new company still called “News Corp.” It will be separately-traded from the company’s entertainment operation renamed “Fox Group.” Murdoch will be chairman of both companies and CEO of Fox Group. The split comes after News Corp.’s notorious hacking scandal last summer.
Some of the 100 current employees of The Daily will be moved to News. Corp’s The New York Post, as well as “technology and other assets.” Jesse Angelo, the Daily’ editor-in-chief, will become publisher of the Post, while The Daily publisher Greg Clayman will lead the digital side of the new publication company.
It will be interesting to see why people thought The Daily was unsuccessful. The Nieman Journalism Lab asks if it was one of four things: the platform, the content, the structure or the business model. And here’s some perspective from a former Daily employee.
The news also comes on the same day The New York Times offered buyout packages to 30 employees.