Report Reveals Details of News Corp.’s iPad Daily

A report from Women’s Wear Daily (of all publications) has revealed some fairly extensive details about News Corp.’s planned iPad-only newspaper, including the name, The Daily. First discovered by The L.A. Times in August, WWD’s report tells us that the paper’s editor-in-chief, Jesse Angelo, wants his publication to have, “a tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence.”

If you’re wondering what that means, think The New York Post’s sensationalism with better writing and editing, for what that’s worth. Mr. Angelo comes from The New York Post, News Corp.’s tabloid daily for New York City, where he was the managing editor. To help him, however, there are key personnel recruited from The New York Times and ABC News, from whence will come broadsheet intelligence, one would think.

The Daily’s total staff will be 100 people, including reporters, designers, and video producers, representing a fairly serious commitment for what will be a first of its kind, an iPad-only major newspaper. Actually, this is not quite accurate, because it will also be available on other tablet devices, assuming any come along that people will buy.

This staff will be based out of New York City, with a small bureau in Hollywood to cover entertainment news. There are no foreign bureaus, nor will there be a bureau in Washington D.C., though reporters will be expected to cover political news.

WWD also noted that the selection of Mr. Angelo himself is reflective of the importance that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch places in this project, as he was considered the heir for the top spot at The New York Post.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch

Mr. Murdoch, one of the most successful media barons of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, has been very concerned with how to move the newspaper business into the digital age and maintain profitability. The Daily will therefore be a big test for monetizing eyeballs on tablet devices, or at least the iPad.

It will hardly be the first major iPad effort for a newspaper, however, as News Corp.’s own Wall Street Journal had an early presence in Apple’s App Store. The New York Times, USA Today, and other newspapers also have significant iPad apps, but The Daily will be conceived from the ground up as a digital publication meant to be consumed on iPads and other tablets.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who himself has expressed concern that the U.S. is descending into a nation of bloggers, has been in communication with Mr. Murdoch about the project, according to WWD. Mr. Murdoch was among the first publishers to recognize the importance of the iPad as a media consumption device, and there have been many reports about the two mega CEOs in talks about how to move newspapers to iOS devices.

The Daily is set to be released in beta in mid-December and launch for real in the first quarter of 2011. Pricing is set to be US$4.25 per month, or $0.99. Let’s hope that price brings us more broadsheet intelligence than tabloid sensibility.