Rupert Murdoch, an old-timey newspaper romantic, has nonetheless deputized himself as the digital savior of paid content. Mr. Murdoch is currently leading the charge to build The Daily, an iPad-centered newspaper under construction in the News Corporation’s Manhattan offices that is scheduled to appear at the beginning of next year.
With an investment of $30 million and a staff of around 100, The Daily will be the first of a kind a “newspaper” with rich media and photography built especially for the iPad.
The enterprise has made some surprising hires from the ranks of the mainstream Sasha Frere-Jones, the music critic of The New Yorker; Steve Alperin, a high-profile television producer; and Richard Johnson, the former king of Page Six. The Daily will incorporate some material from the rest of the News Corporation — Fox Sports will provide some video, according to people putting together the prototype, but the plan is that a vast majority of the content will be original.
The News Corporation clearly sees the iPad as a way to bring consumer revenue back to the publication of news, in part because the company has had some success in building a relationship with Apple. Consumers who download The Wall Street Journal’s iPad application buy their subscription from Dow Jones. (The Economist recently announced a similar arrangement because, like The Journal, it was already charging for content online.) Other publishers have complained that they have been locked out of selling such “in-app subscriptions” and left to sell single issues.