At long last, News Corp. has announced an official launch date for The Daily, the secretive, massively hyped iPad newspaper it has been developing since last fall.
The launch event will take place Wednesday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m., at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, according to a press invite sent out Thursday afternoon. News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch will be joined by Apple executive Eddie Cue, vice president of Internet services, in unveiling the new tablet-based publication, which has a staff of 126 and will cost $.99 per week in the App Store.
As The Cutline first reported, the launch had previously been scheduled for Jan. 19 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art., where Apple chief Steve Jobs was slated to make the announcement alongside Murdoch. That event was scrapped because Apple and News Corp. were sorting out the details of a new digital publishing subscription service for the iTunes store. In the meantime, Jobs announced rather abruptly that he was going on medical leave, which is presumably the reason it appears he will not join Murdoch for next week's reveal, and why the event was moved to New York.
The Daily is being called the biggest media launch since Conde Nast's Portfolio got off the ground in 2007. The challenge, of course, is for the tablet launch to avoid Portfolio's fate: shuttering its operations after two years. Murdoch is banking on his prediction that readers will eventually consume the majority of their media on iPads and similar tablet devices. He has reportedly sunk $30 million so far into The Daily, whose editorial staff includes alums of the New Yorker, the New York Post, Maxim, The Daily Beast, Politico, The Wrap and other publications.
"Ultimately, it's gonna succeed or fail on the journalism itself," Murdoch's son, James, also a News Corp. exec, said last week.