updated 02:25 pm EDT, Fri August 27, 2010
USA Today vows major shift to iPad and digital
USA Today today said it would undergo a major overhaul of its structure to shift attention away from print. Most of its focus will now be on formatting for digital, including the iPad app, other mobile devices, and the web. It now has a VP of Digital Development, Steve Kurtz, who will focus primarily on refining the paper for its digital side.
"This gets us ready for our next quarter-century," company President David Hunke said to the New York Times.
The newspaper will no longer have individual managing editors for its Life, Money, News and Sports sections, instead putting editors together in content groups. USA Today's moves should result in 130 lost jobs in the fall, although Hunke wouldn't say which areas were being cut.
A pronounced move to digital is unusual in the current industry. News Corp. is creating a digital-only paper, but it and other major publications have often tried to protect their newspaper businesses in spite of online content, whether through high prices or by establishing "paywalls" that limit access to content that in some cases was previously free. USA Today was the top newspaper in 2007 with 2.3 million subscribers, but it has plunged to 1.83 million as many have left, often for free online news.