Rupert Murdoch's The Daily Lays Off 50 People, One-Third of Staff
Rupert Murdoch's The Daily Lays Off 50 People, One-Third of Staff (Updated)
The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's tablet newspaper, is laying off 50 people -- nearly one-third of its staff -- News Corp. announced on Tuesday.
The layoffs at The Daily are designed "to streamline its production, focus resources on its most popular features, and reflect the changing business environment for news and media," a news release said.
The main layoffs will come in the Sports and Opinion section, where reader traffic has been the lightest. Fox Sports will now provide content to The Daily's Sports section. The Opinion section is being eliminated.
"These are important changes that will allow The Daily to be more nimble editorially and to focus on the elements that our readers have told us through their consumption that they like and want," said Editor-in-Chief Jesse Angelo in a statement.
A spokesman for News Corp. told TheWrap that they had not given up on The Daily.
"The changes announced today at The Daily will enable the business to operate more efficiently and with even greater focus on the types of content that consumers have gravitated towards since its launch," he said. "News Corporation remains committed to The Daily, and the publication will continue to be an important part of our leading portfolio of publishing brands going forward."
Murdoch poured $30 million into the February 2011 launch of the newspaper tailored for the tablet format, transferring the New York Post's Page Six editor Richard Johnson to the new platform among other high profile staffers, in the hope of creating a viable, paid digital platform for the growing tablet readership.
Also read: Did The Daily Launch Too Early?
Among those hired to run the publication's sports section were Chris D'Amico from the Newark Star-Ledger, Chris Strauss from Men's Fitness and Erik Lief from the Associated Press and ESPN.
But the digital newspaper has only attracted 100,000 subscribers.
The media mogul has defended the venture from critics who say that it has failed to take hold among readers.
Earlier this month after rumors circulated that The Daily might be shut down Angelo told his staff to ignore "the haters."
As of February, the Daily had about 100,000 subscribers paying 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year and had about 250,000 uniques each month, publisher Greg Clayman told The New York Times.
The move comes weeks after News Corp. announced plans to split itself into two companies, one for publishing and the other for entertainment.
Here's the full news release:
The Daily, News Corp's daily national news publication built exclusively for tablets and touchscreen devices, today announced content and personnel changes at the publication designed to streamline its production, focus resources on its most popular features, and reflect the changing business environment for news and media.
The implemented changes to The Daily include the following:
Ø A total of 50 full-time employees, 29 percent of the full-time staff, will be released.
Ø The Sports and Opinion sections, which saw the lightest traffic, are being reorganized. Sports reporting will now be provided by content partners, like Fox Sports, while existing features like photo galleries and the ability to track favorite teams via a customizable sports page will remain. The Daily will no longer have a standalone Opinion section. Opinion pieces and editorials will appear in the news pages, clearly marked, from time to time as appropriate.