3 Dec 2012

Murdoch’s iPad paper folds as News Corp prepares for split

Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper for the iPad era, The Daily, shuts after less than two years, as News Corporation also announces the departure of Tom Mockridge from News International.

The Daily (Reuters)

News Corporation, Mr Murdoch’s publishing giant, said The Daily would cease “standalone publication” on 15 December after not being able to find “a large enough audience”.

Mr Murdoch said: “From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation.

“Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.

“Therefore we will take the very best of what we have learned at The Daily and apply it to all our properties.”

News Corporation said The Daily, which employees 120 members of staff, will be “folded into” News Coporation’s New York Post tabloid newspaper.

Tom Mockridge (Reuters)

News Corp split

The announcement was made amidst a series of changes at the company which are happening ahead of News Corporation’s split into two separate, publicly-listed companies. The split will see News Corporation divided into a publishing business, and a media and entertainment business.

One of the operational changes was the departure of Tom Mockridge (pictured, left) as the chief executive of News International, Mr Murdoch’s UK business which owns The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times.

Mr Mockridge, who took over in July 2011 following the departure of Rebekah Brooks, has left the business to “pursue other opportunities”. He will be replaced by Mike Darcey, current operating officer of BSkyB, at the end of the year.

In a letter to staff, Mr Mockridge said: “To be direct, the reason I am leaving is that the new structure does not offer me a role I am comfortable with and, after 22 years with the company in five countries, I feel I have made enough of a contribution to make a personal choice to go.”

Other changes announced today included the appointment of Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, as the chief executive of News Corporation’s new publishing entity.

The publishing business will take the name News Corporation, whilst the media and entertainment business, which owns 20th Century Fox and the Fox Network, will be called Fox Group.

Mr Murdoch will be chairman of News Corporation and chairman and chief executive of Fox Group.