Tags: daily | murdoch | closing | post

Murdoch Dumps ‘The Daily’

Monday, 03 Dec 2012 11:08 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Rupert Murdoch is pulling the plug on The Daily — his flashy, but disastrous attempt to create a popular tablet newspaper for iPads, Politico reports.

The last edition of the money-losing operation — launched in February 2011 — will be published on Dec. 15.

Murdoch attempted to put a bright spin on the shutdown Monday morning, calling The Daily “a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation.’’

But, he admitted, “we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long term.’’

Some media analysts said the project — which charged subscribers 99-cents a week — had been doomed from the beginning.

“While the app boasted lots of digital bells and whistles, in the end it was very much a general interest newspaper that seemed to be geared for people who didn’t really like newspapers,’’ wrote Peter Kafka on the digital news website allthingsd.com. “You can’t make that work no matter what kind of platform it uses.’’

The Daily’s lack of a proper website “kept it largely out of the conversation online,’’ wrote New York magazine’s Joe Coscarelli. He noted The Daily “joins “a string of technology failures at [parent company] News Corp, including the barely-remembered PageSix.com and the $500 million MySpace bust.’’

Slate columnist Will Oremus noted The Daily’s demise comes “to no one’s surprise … For what it’s worth, I’m told The Daily had some good journalists working for it. I don’t know. I never read it.’’

The Daily was reportedly losing about $30 million a year as it struggled to become relevant among iPad users. Last summer, it canned 50 of its 170 employees.

Some of the Daily’s staffers will now be moved over to Murdoch’s tabloid The New York Post.

The death of The Daily comes as News Corp. undergoes huge organizational changes, with the company splitting into two separate entities — one for its movie and television divisions and one for its publishing operations.

News Corp. has been embroiled in scandal over the past several years after it was revealed that its now-defunct British newspaper The News of The World had hacked the phones of hundreds of celebrities, politicians, and newsmakers. Some of the paper’s editors and reporters are now being prosecuted.

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