News Corp.'s Daily makes its debut (live blog)

The highly anticipated daily publication for the iPad launches this morning at a New York event hosted by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and Apple VP Eddy Cue.

Sarah Tew

Editor's note: This live event has concluded. For a brief rundown of what was announced, check out this summary post . You can also review the transcript of the live blog below or replay it in the Cover It Live module at the end of the transcript.

There hasn't been this much buzz about a News Corp. digital product since the heyday of MySpace, but we're sure that the people behind The Daily--a highly anticipated daily news publication designed for the iPad--are hoping for better long-term sustainability.

On Wednesday, after weeks of delays, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and Apple vice president of Internet services Eddy Cue are introducing The Daily, which till now been kept under wraps . The event is taking place at New York's Guggenheim Museum of Art, a change from the original rumored plans to launch The Daily in San Francisco with Apple CEO Steve Jobs on hand. But Apple will still have a big presence at the event, and it's likely that we will be able to get a few hints at the company's vision for how tablets can help bring newspapers and magazines into the Digital Age.

Editors' note: In the early going, our original Cover It Live session crashed. We've relaunched a new module to keep you up-to-date. Our apologies for the interruption and the loss of the early comments. (We'll recap the full event in this blog post later today.)

Live blog transcript starts here: (Note that some reader comments and pre-game insights were edited out for brevity and to keep the focus on the event at hand.)

10:45 a.m. ET: (from CNET's Caroline McCarthy, who is at the event) Hi everyone, I'm onsite at The Daily's launch at the Guggenheim Museum. Relatively small theater. "Bloggers" are seated separately from "Media," which doesn't give me the best first impression of News Corp.'s digital savviness.

Sarah Tew

10:47 a.m. ET: (from CNET's Maggie Reardon) Looks like a lot of dark suits in the room from Sarah's earlier picture.

Sarah Tew

10:48 a.m. ET: (from CNET's John Falcone) The weather overnight and this morning in NYC was classic "wintry mix"--ice/sleet/rain, but it appears that the event won't be delayed.

10:49 a.m. ET: (from community member Eric) What's everyone's opinion on what magazines like Wired will do--will it switch to a subscription model? I'm REALLY hoping so!

10:49 a.m. ET: (from John Falcone) @Eric--That's the idea. Once Apple puts a subscription "infrastructure" in place, the idea is that publications (besides The Daily) can start using it.

10:49 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) This is a good question. I think the publishing world is looking to make money any way it can. And if the Daily is a success, then I'd expect others to follow. But I'd be interested to hear what my colleagues and others following the live blog think.

10:50 a.m. ET: (from John Falcone) The rumor is that publishers are at odds with Apple's demands--the 30% surcharge, and the fact that they (publishers) wouldn't necessarily get access to the subscriber data (since it's all going through the App Store).

10:50 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) There have been plenty of complaints about how much of a tablet's memory that magazine apps occupy. Something I'd really like to see: storage of back issues in the cloud.

10:50 a.m.ET: (from Maggie Reardon) By the way, I forgot to introduce John Falcone earlier. He is a senior Reviews editor for CNET and is helping us out on the blog. Caroline McCarthy will be the live blogger, and Sarah Tew is providing pictures

10:51 a.m. ET: (from community member Eric) It's an interesting time...I am a wired subscriber (print) and would love to have the issues on my iPad, but like so many others, not willing to pay $3.99 an issue.

10:52 a.m. ET: (from John Falcone) Other issues at hand: Do these apps provide any benefit versus using a Web site version of a publication? And will Apple still get to exercise veto power over content?

10:52 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) Eric, it seems crazy to me that if you are already paying for a hard copy subscription that they'd make you pay again for the iPad version. As a consumer, that just makes me mad.

10:53 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) But as John Falcone points out if the experience or content is different or enhanced on the iPad version, I could maybe stomach an additional charge.

10:54 a.m. ET: (from community member Eric) I agree with that, but if there's multimedia (ie iPad only content), and the subscription price is reasonable, I'm willing to do it. I'd really like to see magazines take off on the ipad. Zinio isn't doing it for me anymore :)

10:54 a.m. ET: (from community member Dave) No one reads magazines anymore.

10:54 a.m. ET:(from John Falcone) Again, the problem is that *Apple* would be selling you the subscription, so *Apple* could get its 30% cut. That would make print/online subs much harder to deal with.

10:54 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) @Dave, I do--and I don't read newspapers.

10:55 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) I'm with Caroline. I still subscribe to magazines but I only read newspapers online. But honestly, I do hate that I have to recycle so many magazines. I hate paper!

10:55 a.m. ET: (from John Falcone) I noticed a TV commercial for The New York Times last night that emphasized getting it in the "good old-fashioned print version" (or something to that effect). It seemed kinda sad.

Sarah Tew

10:59 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) I have changed my avatar from the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to a groundhog in honor of today's observances.

11 a.m. ET: (from community member Dan) I hear this was created in close collaboration with Apple, but do you think it is the "Officially sanctioned news publication" or did they just help with interface and coding?

11 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) Dan, Apple isn't a publisher or a news organization, so I would guess the collaboration was more on the functionality and technical aspects of the app and not necessarily on the content.

11:01 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) From the front lines: A reporter from Engadget was chastised for taking pictures without being a designated "photographer" here. Ooooof.

11:04 a.m. ET: (from community member Mike) Gizmodo has leaked details: http://gizmodo.com/5749905/all-the-daily-details-leaked

11:05 a.m. ET: (from community member Mark) Do you think Apple specifically planned this event today to compete with the Google Android event?

11:05 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) @Mike, Gizmodo (and the rest of Gawker Media) was also apparently banned from this event, possibly because of ongoing spats with Apple. @Mark: I don't think so. The launch was originally supposed to be 3 weeks ago and it was almost completely finalized for 1/19 in San Francisco.

11:05 a.m. ET: (from John Falcone) @Mark--Also, I believe Google scheduled its event after Apple, so they'd be the ones trying to be spoiler.

Editor's note: Here's when Cover It Live crashed on us, so there's a bit of a time lag.

11:14 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) EIC Jesse Angelo revealing "The Daily." The cover image, "FALLING PHARAOH,: Obama pushes Mubarak to quit now as a million march in Egypt revolution."

11:14 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) Apologies to anyone who was trying to watch our coverage. We just had a technical failure. but we are back!

11:15 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) "As you can see, we led today with Egypt. It's such a remarkable story." Mentions that there is a reporter on the ground in Cairo. Story is "cater-made for the daily. The pictures that are coming out from that are amazing. The audio and the video are incredible."

Sarah Tew

11:16 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Angelo demos 360-degree photos with which the reader can interact. It's a "cool, immersive experience."

Sarah Tew
11:16 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy )There is also HD video. Shows video of Angola prison in Louisiana for a story about how the prisoners make kids for toys. It's "the first all-media product."

11:17 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) "We're going to produce up to 100 pages, depending on the news, every day."

11:18 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Central navigation handled through "carousel" with a tile representing each story. Your weather forecast is in the upper right hand corner. The Daily is not an island. It will definitely be a part of the entire Web discourse and the social world."

11:18 a.m. ET::(from community member Ming) Where is "The Daily" in the App Store? I'd rather play with it myself than follow Murdoch's blather about it.

11:18 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) Ming, it will be in the App Store at 12 p.m. ET.

11:20 a.m.: (from Caroline McCarthy) Fashion articles have e-commerce links to buy clothes featured in the articles. There are "components to bring Twitter feeds directly into the app" when relevant (e.g. celebrity news). "Apps & Games" section features reviews, ratings, direct link to Apple Store

Sarah Tew
Sarah Tew

11:21 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Sports section! Interactive Super Bowl timeline. "You can pull up your favorite team schedule. You can pull up scores. You can pull up the latest stories, the latest photographs, and it's fully customizable."

Sarah Tew
11:22 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) "The Daily" is published every morning, delivered directly to your iPad, and updated through the day. $.99 per week. First 2 weeks free courtesy of Verizon. Launch partners (advertisers?) include HBO, Pepsi, Macy's Virgin Atlantic. Here comes Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet services.

11:23 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Cue: "We are thrilled to be here today to help Rupert and News Corp. launch the industry's first national daily news publication built from the ground up for the iPad." Cue: Over 9,000 news apps available for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch.

Sarah Tew

11:24 a.m.: (from Caroline McCarthy) Cue: "Rupert has built an amazing team."

11:24 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) I must say this looks pretty cool. Wondering what others following the live blog think of this.

Sarah Tew

11:25 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Yearly subscription: $39.99

Sarah Tew

11:26 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Execs from "The Daily" doing a photo op with Rupert and Cue now.

11:26 a.m. ET: (from Scott Stein) That price is going to make other iPad newspapers sweat.

11:27 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Now it's Q&A time

11:27 a.m. ET:: (from community member YC) How to subscribe? Is there an app?

Sarah Tew

11:28 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) Yes you can download the app from the App Store and then you can either pay $0.99 per week or $39.99 per year for the subscription.

11:28 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) My question: How are back issues handled? Answer: Saved articles is the best way to find previously published content. Archives will be on the Web. Working toward archiving and internal search but it's not there at launch.

Sarah Tew

11:31 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Somebody asks Murdoch how he will define "success." Murdoch says, "Our ambitions are very big, our costs are very low." Has spent $30 million in development. Less than $500K/week cost. "Very confident" in finances. Cue: "You'll hear from us soon" about Apple's broader subscription pricing plans.

Sarah Tew

11:33 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) One of the execs says, "You're competing with Angry Birds at some level" with regard to attention demands on the iPad.

11:33 a.m. ET: (from community member Adam) What percentage of content will be "fair and balanced" Republican puff pieces from Fox News and what will be real journalism?

Sarah Tew

Sarah Tew
11:34 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) @adam, the slant looks to be very different from Fox News, which is interesting.

11:34 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) It will be interesting to see what the editorial voice of this new publication will be. Murdoch pointed out that there are already many competing voices even with the same market, such as in New York City.

11:35 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Jesse Angelo has a 'stache and soul patch worthy of Inigo Montoya.

11:36 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Reporter from The Guardian asks if there will be a political slant. Rupe: "The editorial position will be in the hands of the editor." Angelo: "This is a new platform. We believe this is a new era. We believe this is a new brand." However: "We are patriotic. We love America."

11:37 a.m.: (from community member Ming) @Maggie, good question about editorial voice or niche. I subscribe to the WSJ (don't read it on the iPad). Is there mental shelfspace for something new between NYT & WSJ from traditional media and Engadget, CNET, etc on new media?

Sarah Tew

11:38 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) Perhaps people will shift their reading habits. But I wonder about mental bandwidth myself. It's hard to keep up with different sources of news. But this looks like a very different experience. And it seems like it will allow people to customize their news consumption even more. Very interesting.

11:38 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Somebody asks about availability on other tablet platforms. Rupe: "As other tablets get established we will develop the technology to go on them. We expect to be on all the major tablets. But we believe that last year, and this year, and maybe next year really belong to Apple."

Sarah Tew

Sarah Tew
11:40 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Jeff Bercovici from Forbes asks Rupert what his favorite apps are. Rupe's response: "I try some of the games" but says he's not very good at them. Angelo: The Daily has "a little bit of wit, a little bit of verve, some attitude, some punch."

11:41 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Somebody asks Murdoch whether Jobs has offered input recently. "He did call me last week and he did say that he believed that the app was really terrific. He was extremely flattering."

11:43 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) How much content will be on the Web? "Technically the stuff is mirrored on the Web but we believe the primary consumption will be in-app." Mirror HTML pages created, can be shared and searched. Will it be free online? "We don't anticipate that."

11:44 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Post a story on Facebook and your friends can see the whole thing. But you can't go to thedaily.com and read all the articles for free.

Sarah Tew

11:49 a.m. ET: (from Caroline McCarthy) Subscription revenues will probably trump ad revenues at first, execs say. They are hoping for a 50/50 split. Press conference is over - I'm going to go shoot a CNET TV video about all this so watch for it later!

11:50 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) Thanks to everyone who followed the live blog. Sorry for the technical confusion. Hopefully, it won't happen again!

Sarah Tew

11:52 a.m. ET: (from Maggie Reardon) The app will be available in about 9 minutes on the App Store. So if you have an iPad check it out. They said the first two weeks are free thanks to Verizon Wireless. Let us know what you think about it in the comment section of the story that will follow this live blog. Thanks once again for joining us. This concludes our live blog!

Editors' note: The original, pre-event version of this story was published February 1 at 12:00 p.m. PT.

 

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