News Corp.'s iPad magazine launching Feb. 2

It'll be launching in New York, not San Francisco, and there's no promise that Steve Jobs will be there.

News Corp. has chosen Groundhog Day for its launch of The Daily, a digital publication designed for tablet devices--and it's chosen New York, not the previously rumored San Francisco, for the February 2 event.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will be making the announcement at the event at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Apple Vice President of Internet Services Eddy Cue will join him. This is in contrast to News Corp.'s initial plans to hold the event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in late January.

A source close to the matter had informed CNET that Apple had a significant part in the decision-making process for The Daily's launch, and that Jobs would be joining Murdoch to make the announcement. Apple fans closely followed the rumors of a close partnership between Apple and News Corp., hoping that it might provide some insight into Apple's strategy about how it sees the iPad as a device for digital media consumption. A Jobs appearance at the launch of The Daily would be a big deal indeed.

But on January 17, a day before the company's quarterly earnings announcement, Jobs announced that he would be stepping aside on a medical leave . While Jobs--a pancreatic cancer survivor who has already taken one medical leave from his post--will remain CEO, chief operating officer Tim Cook will temporarily take over his duties at the company.

So The Daily will launch without Jobs. Cue, a longtime Apple exec, has been instrumental in the development of the iTunes Store, App Store, and the future of applications on the iPad.

The Daily, which News Corp. hired former MTV digital executive Greg Clayman to spearhead, will be the second high-profile tablet-based publication to be launched by a billionaire mogul. In late November, British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group released Project Magazine , a slick monthly lifestyle publication for the iPad. No Apple executives made appearances, but vice president of product marketing Michael Tchao was in the audience and chatting with attendees afterward.

At the time, The Daily's launch was rumored to be imminent--but it's taken another three months to finally get it up and running.

A notably smaller tablet publication company, Nomad Editions, launched earlier this week. It's run by Mark Edmiston, former president of Newsweek magazine.

This post was last updated at 10:11 a.m. PT.

 

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