Murdoch’s Online Newpaper Lays Off Nearly 30 Percent of Staff

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When it was launched a few years ago, The Daily was seen as the the harbinger of a new era of pay-to-read online newspapers that was going to finally put an end to our time of “free” news content. Rupert Murdoch launched The Daily in an attempt to somehow replicate what the Wall Street Journal has done — maintain a large number of paying customers for online content. Only the New York Times has come close to doing this, and the future of that looks shaky. No other newspaper has been able to make much money from online subscribers.

So, when it was launched, all of the social media and PR world was watching The Daily to see if newspapers will actually be able to look forward to a future full of people paying to view news content on tablets and other mobile gadgets.

Today, The Daily announced that it is laying off nearly 30 percent of its staff. And not surprisingly, getting rid of sports and commentary altogether. Seriously, why would anyone pay for sports and commentary when the world is brimming with people willing to write that stuff for free? You don’t have to hack people’s voicemail to figure out that was a pretty weak idea.

It looks like the WSJ remains an anomaly and newspapers are still waiting for that magic bullet that will make people pay to read all the essential earth-shattering news about Justin Bieber, et al.

10:13 am on August 2, 2012
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