NEW YORK » The Daily, a digital-only news publication championed by News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch, is laying off nearly a third of its staff.
In cutting 50 of the roughly 170 employees at The Daily, the publication plans to focus resources on its more popular features. It says the move reflects the "changing business environment for news and media."
When The Daily launched in January 2011, News Corp. executives predicted that it would cost $30 million a year to run the publication. Yet more than a year later it had only about 100,000 subscribers who paid up to 99 cents per week, and about 250,000 visitors each month. The publication also runs some advertisements.
The app is available on Apple Inc.’s iPads and iPhones and tablet computers that use Google Inc.’s Android system.
The reorganization at The Daily comes as News Corp. makes plans to spin off its publishing assets, including The Daily, from the more profitable entertainment arm, which houses its TV assets such as Fox News Channel and movie studio 20th Century Fox.
The Daily will stop reporting on sports and instead use content from partners such as Fox Sports. The standalone Opinion section is being scrapped. Instead it will publish opinion pieces in news pages from time to time.
It will also publish pages in the portrait format only, instead of horizontally as well, to reflect the preference of most readers.
"These are important changes that will allow The Daily to be more nimble editorially and to focus on the elements that our readers have told us through their consumption that they like and want," editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo said in a statement.
News Corp. said the media conglomerate "remains committed" to The Daily and will keep it an important part of its publishing assets.