iPad newspaper The Daily lays off a third of its staff

By , Jul 31, 2012

We’ve known for a while now that News Corp.’s made-for-iPad newspaper The Daily was in trouble. Last fall, the paper’s audience was estimated to be somewhere in the area of just 100,000 active readers — well short of the 500,000 it needs to break even. Then back in May of this year, word got out that the Daily had been put “on watch” for its poor performance.

Well there must have been some truth to the chatter, as a new report is out today claiming that The Daily just laid off a third of its staff…

AllThingsD reports:

“The Daily, News Corp.’s attempt to create a digital newspaper for the iPad age, is laying off nearly a third of its staff.

The publisher plans to tell its workers today that it will fire 50 of its 170 employees, according to people familiar with The Daily’s plans.”

The report goes on to say that the newspaper also plans to implement several design and content changes over the coming months in an effort turn the publication around. It’s currently losing an estimated $30 million per year.

The Huffington Post obtained an internal memo from The Daily’s Editor-in-chief Jesse Angela to his staff:

“As you may already know, today we announced content and personnel changes designed to focus resources on our most popular features, streamline our operations, and improve our business.

This was not an easy step to take but it was necessary for the health and vibrancy of the organization. The changes focus on reorganizing some features of The Daily and streamlining production. To do this we are reducing our staff by 29 percent, letting go of 50 full-time people.

This is a painful decision that we do not take lightly. It is a sad and difficult day for all of us as we say goodbye to colleagues as well as friends. But I am confident that these changes will make our business stronger.”

There’s a few takeaways from all of this. One, it seems that print media isn’t as dead as a lot of folks would have us believe, as thousands of publications still enjoy audiences 10x the size of The Daily.

And two, we shouldn’t count News Corp.’s little experiment out just yet. The Daily still has time to wow us, and appears to be taking the necessary steps to do that. The newspaper reportedly has until November — after the fall elections — to start impressing people.

We’re curious, do you subscribe to The Daily?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • mplsdude

    I really like the daily’s content and the stunning visual images it uses but it’s far too expensive for me to justify subscribing to. Why don’t they try lowering their prices?

  • Peter Leung

    The simplest way is to make it free completely. Then earn the money from the advertising. That’s much easier since The Daily can just tell the advertisers that they have millions of readers around the world

    • Jamme Chantler

      Mr. Leung, I believe you are correct. Make it for free and millions will read it and then make money from advertising! Except I still have the problem with having read everything they include elsewhere on the net!

  • http://www.GoldenGateDomains.com/ Golden Gate Domains

    WELL THERE’S YOUR PROBLEM………

    Just in case none of those really “smart” folks that run “The Daily” have not yet figured it out, consumers are used to having their content on the internet free!

    People can get a newspaper subscription for their local paper for $10-$30/year – why pay “The Daily” a whopping $39.99/year for a digital subscription that will not give you that early morning smell of newsprint on your fingers!

    Besides, with all of the free internet news feeds (i.e. Twitter; Facebook; Google News) along with news updates on “the halfs” via the radio and television, why again would we pay a whopping $39.99/year for a digital subscription?

    Now, we realize they need to make money, and that is why Internet Ads were invented. I believe iDB shared a story a few months back that showed that “Free” Apps were often times generating more revenue than “Paid Premium” Apps!!!

    That right there is clear evidence that we still click on ads, and buy stuff from Ads. In fact, a locals Fry’s Electronics banner ad was on this iDB page, and I clicked it for this week’s specials….. Which I’m going off to read now…. Bye! :-)

  • Jamme Chantler

    I do subscribe but I’m going to cancel because I never really read it. By the time it’s published, I’ve already read everything they write about somewhere else on the net!