Rupert Murdoch ‘to launch US digital newspaper’

Rupert Murdoch is planning to test his belief in the transformative power of the iPad to bring news to the younger generation by launching a new digital newspaper for America.

The new operation, disclosed by the Los Angeles Times, will be geared specifically to younger readers and to digital outlets such as the iPad and cellphones. It will pool the huge editorial muscle of Murdoch’s combined holdings within News Corporation, which include the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the financial wire service Dow Jones, as well as his newspapers in the UK and Australia.

But according to the LA Times, it will publish customised content that will be tailored both to the digital medium and the tastes of the target readership. Stories will be short and snappy, the Times‘s source said.

As a generalist news outlet, the operation, which has yet to find a name, would take on such rivals as USA Today, the newspaper circulated in hotels and airports across the US, and Murdoch’s favourite enemy, the New York Times.

The creation of a custom-built digital product helps make sense of Murdoch’s strategy as he struggles to drag his enormous newspaper empire into the digital world. It will sit alongside his radical attempt to build a paywall around his newspapers including the Times and Sunday Times in the UK.

Murdoch sees the iPad as a potential lifesaver in terms of its reach among the young and its ability to attract subscriptions. The Wall Street Journal already charges $4 a week for delivery through the iPad.

Earlier this month, Murdoch said of the iPad: “It’s a real game-changer in the presentation of news,” adding “We’ll have young people reading newspapers.”

Eric Alterman, the Nation magazine’s media columnist, said the idea of pooling resources across News Corporation and recalibrating them for the iPad was for Murdoch a “no-brainer”. “This makes perfect sense. He’s got all this content that’s of interest to people from different localities across America. It will be like a global New York Post without any of the legacy costs.”

But Murdoch biographer and co-founder of the website Newser, Michael Wolff, was less confident that the new venture would work. “Murdoch is a man who has tried over and over again over almost 40 years to create a successful, financially viable newspaper in the US, and he’s failed every time,” he said.

The LA Times source said that the new operation would be based within the New York Post, though it would have its own newsroom and own staff of reporters and editors. It would fall under the control of the Post managing editor, Jesse Angelo.

No launch date has been set, though it is understood Murdoch is keen to have the project up and running by the end of this year. – guardian.co.uk

Ed Pilkington
Ed Pilkington works from New York. Chief reporter of the @GuardianUS. [email protected] Public key: https://t.co/YC091ij6wo Ed Pilkington has over 19685 followers on Twitter.
Advertisting

Workers’ R60m ‘lost’ in banks scam

An asset manager, VBS Mutual Bank and a Namibian bank have put the retirement funds of 26 000 municipal workers in South Africa at risk

‘Judge President Hlophe tried to influence allocation of judges to...

Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath accuses Hlophe of attempting to influence her to allocate the case to judges he perceived as ‘favourably disposed’ to former president Jacob Zuma

SAA grounds flights due to low demand

SAA is working to accommodate customers on its sister airlines after it cancelled flights due to low demand

Lekwa municipality won’t answer questions about why children died in...

Three children are dead. More than a dozen homes have been gutted by fires in the past six months. And, as...
Advertising

Press Releases

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.