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DAILY CUTS: Over a year ago, Rupert Murdoch said his new iPad newspaper The Daily would be “transformative” for the journalism industry.
“No paper, no multi-million-dollar presses, no trucks,” he said at a heavily-orchestrated press conference in February.
From now on, the Daily will also have to do without 50 of its staffers and the sports and opinion sections. On Tuesday afternoon, editor Jesse Angelo confirmed he was gutting his staff of 170 by a third, all by eradicating its sports and opinion departments. Sports content will now come from corporate sibling Fox Sports and the opinion section will be scrapped altogether, said a spokesman with Rubenstein Public Relations, which handles the brand. News Corp.-owned All Things D first reported the cuts.
The news surprised staffers on Tuesday, with some tweeting they got the news via social media.
The Daily launched in February with much fanfare, but it’s never stopped hemorrhaging money, anywhere between $30 to $60 million, according to different estimates.
After News Corp. announced it was splitting its entertainment and publishing divisions, there was a new round of speculation just several weeks ago that corporate would lose its patience with the money-losing app.
But Angelo published an internal memo reassuring staffers to ignore “the haters.” “As for the latest misinformed, untrue rumors of our imminent demise, I would urge you to ignore them,” he wrote in early July.
On Tuesday, he said the cuts were “driven by the needs of the business.” Sports and opinion received the least amount of traffic of the Daily’s six sections.
On the upside, the New York Observer reported earlier in the day publisher Greg Clayman bought a $1.16 million co-up in Brooklyn Heights.