News Corp closes iPad only newspaper The Daily after losing millions

Big changes at News Corporation today as executives comes and go and in amongst those changes News Corporation has also announced the closure of its iPad only newspaper The Daily. It was launched with much fanfare, and at a cost of $30m in February 2011, but seemed to very quickly run into trouble.

Those rumours that it was on borrowed time surfaced back in the summer when the speculation was that it was going to be axed as it cut around 50 staff. Today News Corp confirmed that and said that the Daily will cease standalone publication on 15 December.

The company added that technology and other assets from The Daily, including some staff, would be folded into The New York Post.

Jesse Angelo, the founding editor-in-chief of The Daily and long-time executive editor of The New York Post, will assume the role of publisher of The New York Post.

In a statement, News Corp chairman Murdoch said the simple truth was that the iPad paper did not get enough readers and it was losing money. It is reported to have lost $10m in the second quarter alone meaning it has probably cost News Corp in the region of $120m.

At its height it employed as many as 100 journalists and had running costs of $500,000 a week..

It never attracted enough readers even though a subscription to The Daily was just 99c per week or $39.99 annually.

The announcement of its closure was put out in a press release about the promotion of Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson to the post of News Corp’s new publishing arm.

At the same time Sky’s chief operating officer Mike Darcey has been appointed to replace Tom Mockridge as chief executive of News International as part of wide-ranging changes across News Corporation.

In a statement, News Corp said that The Daily brand would live on in ‘other channels’ but gave no details.

Murdoch said: “From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation.  Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.”