LOS ANGELES — It was too expensive. It lacked editorial focus. And for a digital publication, it was strangely cut off from the Internet. That’s the obituary being written in real time through posts, tweets and online chats about The Daily, the first-of-its-kind iPad newspaper that is being shut down this month.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said Monday that The Daily will publish its final issue on Dec. 15, less than two years after its January 2011 launch. The app has already been removed from Apple’s iTunes, where it once received lukewarm ratings.
The Daily had roughly 100,000 subscribers who paid either 99 cents a week or $40 a year for its dailydownload of journalism tailored for touch screens. But that wasn’t enough to sustain some 100 employees and millions of dollars in losses since its launch. At the time of its debut, News Corp. said The Daily’s operating costs would amount to about half a million dollars a week, or around $26 million a year.
When News Corp. launched The Daily, it was touted as a bold experiment in new media. The company hired top-name journalists from other publications, such as the New York Post’s former Page Six editor, Richard Johnson, and said it poured $30 million into the newspaper’s launch. Now, the company is acknowledging that The Daily no longer has a place at News Corp., which is being split in two to separate its publishing enterprises from its TV and movie businesses.
Murdoch said in a statement that News Corp. “could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.” Some employees are being hired in other parts of the company.