updated 04:49 pm EDT, Tue July 31, 2012
Marks failure of iPad-focused publication to catch on
News Corporation publication The Daily is laying off almost a full third of its workers, according to sources for AllThingsD, which is owned by the same parent company. That translates into about 50 people, who are expected to get their job loss notices today. The editorial and sports departments are said to be taking the biggest hits, although "skeletal" coverage in those areas will remain. Other affected departments are said to include the design and production teams.
The Daily was once a flagship product for both News Corp. and Apple. For the former it was seen as step in transitioning away from traditional newspapers into the digital era; Apple, who collaborated on the once iPad-only app, benefited from the attention drawn to its tablet, and used the publication to inaugurate in-app subscriptions. While executives at The Daily say they have over 100,000 subscribers split between iOS and Android, the publication hasn't met News Corp. expectations, and has been losing millions of dollars. Recently it has been rumored that The Daily might be axed entirely.
The publication's editor-in-chief, Jesse Angelo, has nevertheless admitted that it might have to evolve. "This is the truth about the modern media business -- all outlets, including the ones writing about us, are under pressure to prove themselves as businesses. We are no exception, and to be sure, we will need to continue to evolve, adapt and change in order to compete and be successful," he wrote in a memo responding to rumors about The Daily's fate.
Other cost-cutting measures are reportedly planned as well, to the extent of only creating vertical layouts for pages. Many iOS and Android publications are designed to be read either vertically or horizontally. Nevertheless The Daily is said to be moving ahead with other plans, such as producing a weekend edition.