The Daily, News Corp's big fancy well-funded "iPad newspaper" project, was never really a good idea from day one. A once-daily, hugely expensive, geographically nonspecific newspaper that is not available on the internet: just not a great business plan. Now, a year and a half after the launch, the reality appears to be crashing down.
Peter Kafka reports that The Daily is going to be laying off 50 of its 170 staffers in the near future. "Employees who produce the paper's editorial page and sports coverage will be heavily hit by the layoffs, and the Daily will run skeletal versions of those sections from now on," according to Kafka. That's a big gaping ax wound, no matter which way you look at it. After News Corp spun off it publishing division last month—leaving The Daily and its fellow newspapers without that sweet Fox money to prop them up—it was not hard to see this coming. Staffers at The Daily have been nervous about this very thing happening. And here it is.
The Daily does have a fair number of subscribers, so perhaps it will survive in a much smaller form. Or perhaps News Corp will sell off its publishing division and an efficiency-mad buyer will shut down the publication for good. Either way, its brief days of media stardom appear to be over.
If you're an employee at The Daily who'd like to vent, email me.