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News Corp. to close iPad newspaper The Daily

By Mark Sweney, The Guardian
Monday, December 3, 2012 9:42 EDT
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Murdoch via AFP
 
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Rupert Murdoch’s online subscription venture was losing $30m a year and failed to win enough subscribers. 

Rupert Murdoch is to shut iPad newspaper The Daily from 15 December, admitting that it has failed to win enough subscribers to make the online subscription venture viable in its 21 months of life.

News Corporation said that closure of The Daily, which was unveiled in a high-profile launch in February 2011, will “live on in other channels” with technology and some staff being integrated into the New York Post.

The Daily was losing $30m a year and amassed about 100,000 subs, according to an open email in June from founding editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo. Angelo, a close friend of James Murdoch, will take the role of publisher at the New York Post, returning to a title where he was previously executive editor.

“From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation,” said Murdoch. “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”.

The Daily, which operated a subscription model at $0.99 a week or $39.99 a year, needed about 500,000 subs to break even. In July it was reported that as many as a third of the 170 staff at The Daily faced being cut.

“We will take the very best of what we have learned at The Daily and apply it to all our properties,” said Murdoch. “I know The New York Post will continue to grow and become stronger on the web, on mobile, and not least, the paper itself. I want to thank all of the journalists, digital and business professionals for the hard work they put into The Daily.”

Greg Clayman, publisher of The Daily, will oversee News Corp’s global digital strategy, new digital investments and distribution partnerships, working with chief technical officer Paul Cheesbrough.

Paul Carlucci, who has served as publisher of The New York Post since 2005, will move to focus on his role as chairman of the News America Marketing division.

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