iPad news app The Daily cuts 50 jobs

Rupert Murdoch's experiment in a new form of digital news has hit a rough patch.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch (on the right) and Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet software and services at Apple, at the launch of The Daily in February 2011. Sarah Tew/CNET

The Daily, News Corp.'s iPad-only news application, said today that it is laying off 50 employees, or nearly a third of its work force.

The app will also see a number of changes, losing its own sports reporting and trimming its opinion content. It will also switch to a portrait-only orientation. The changes were first reported by AllThingsD.

The cuts underscore the difficulties involved with launching a news service, even for a company with the heft of News Corp. The Daily launched in February 2011 with a lot of fanfare, and held the hope that consumers would pay for stories on their iPad.

Instead of original sports content, the publication will use partners such as Fox Sports. Instead of a standalone opinion section, opinion and editorial pieces will appear in news pages.

The Daily's decision to keep most of its news on the iPad app, however, proved to be a stumbling block at a time when news was getting more widely disseminated than ever. Its daily rate of 99 cents and annual rate of $39.99 appear reasonable, but faces competition online that gives its news away for free.

The publication was a favorite project of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, who was at the launch and saw The Daily as his way of countering the trend of freely available news from digital sources.

The Daily will continue to invest in original reporting, visual elements, photography, and video, the publication said in a statement. It also reiterated its support for the tablet format.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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