Following on from the recent news that The Daily, the News Corp iPad-only publication, had been put ‘on watch’ following massive financial losses of up to $30 million, it has now emerged that The Daily is cutting staff and reducing production costs in an effort to stay afloat. According to a report from AllThingsD, The Daily is laying off approximately 30% of its staff, mainly in the editorial and sports sections in an effort to save money. In addition, the app will now only work in vertical format rather than both vertical and horizontal formats, in an effort to reduce production costs.
The news is not surprising considering the lackluster reception that The Daily has had since launch, both with subscriber uptake and the criticism of its content. The question is, however, will laying off 30% of the staff as well as reducing sports content help to save the publication? Surely a reduction in content in the editorial and sports sections will simply drive people away rather than attracting new subscribers which is what The Daily would need to focus upon.
It would be good to see The Daily completely rethink its approach, remove the sensationalist stories with no foundation, and perhaps focus on standing apart as a dynamically changing publication that offers much more content-rich news updates throughout the day (think Huffington Post with more original content). Currently, the foundation for a good publication is there, but the content isn’t, and that is clearly contributing to the lack of subscribers. When people can go to other news websites and get quality editorials for free, why would they pay for poor content?