Things have not be going well for The Daily since its inception almost 18 months ago, especially now that news has emerged that News Corp has put the publication ‘on watch’ with a view to disbanding it after the U.S. elections.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Observer reports that News Corp could kill off The Daily as part of a major restructuring program at the end of November, a move which will also see News Corp split in two.
The Daily was established in February 2011 under the premise of delivering daily news to the iPad (it has since come to the iPhone and select Android tablets) for $0.99 a week or $39.99 a year, and has been quick to refute the rumors, with editor-in-chief, Jesse Angelo blaming ‘haters’ in the media for the ‘untrue rumors’.
“As for the latest misinformed, untrue rumors of our imminent demise, I would urge you to ignore them," wrote Angelo in an email attempting to appease unsettled workers.
“Since before we launched, our dear friends at competing media outlets have done their best to wish us ill and gleefully 'report' on what they think is going on here. The truth is we have over 100,000 paying subs who are renewing their subscriptions at a 98% rate and fantastic advertisers who love our brand and keep coming back for more because they get results.
"Pay attention to them, not the haters."
Some members of staff did however relay their concern to a number of media outlets, with one in particular telling The Guardian: “We’ve always heard that the Daily survives as long as Rupert [Murdoch] survives, because it was his dream, but who the hell knows?”
The Daily’s problems (the journal was said to have lost around $30 million last year alone) are certainly surprising given the publication’s huge financial backing and the boom of tablet publishing.
That being said, News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch was the driver being The Daily project, even soliciting the views of Steve Jobs prior to launch, and is placing big expectations on the future of tablets.
Indeed, British tech site The Register recently published a leaked email from the News Corp founder, which illustrated just how Murdoch thinks the future of the media industry lies with smartphones and tablets.