Now that The Daily is being put out of its low-readership misery, one question is whether Richard Johnson will be let out of the witness protection program? ”I’ll now be working for the New York Post, and will again have some readers,” Johnson answered me. Asked if he’s staying in LA or moving back to NY, Johnson replied, “I’ll be in LA for at least several more months. I think it depends if I can be of value here.” I hope Richard lets me buy him a plane ticket pronto back to Manhattan. Because his reporting accuracy has greatly suffered in LA.
Buried inside that News Corp press release is the announcement that its little-read and even less talked about The Daily has formally failed. The iPad-only paper launched by Rupert Murdoch with much fanfare in February 2011 and then made many layoffs this summer claiming the firings would make the “business stronger”. Nope. The Daily will publish its last iPad issue on December 15th. While dozens may lose their jobs, I’m sure it will ease their pain that The Daily’s founding Editor-In-Chief Jesse Angelo is getting a promotion thanks to cronyism. Angelo is a longtime Murdoch family friend and James Murdoch pal and now will become publisher of the New York Post. Angelo also is the son of John Angelo of NYC hedge fund Angelo Gordon & Co, which was one of Tribune Co’s biggest creditors. (Little wonder there’s speculation that Murdoch might buy the Los Angeles Times.)
Related: News Corp. Details Proposed Separation Of Businesses; The Daily To Cease
News Corp Details Proposed Separation Of Businesses; Entertainment Company To Be Called Fox Group; The Daily To Cease
News Corp. has confirmed that Dow Jones editor-in-chief and Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson will become CEO of its publishing division once the conglomerate is split into two distinct entities. Rupert Murdoch‘s company has also unveiled names for the two businesses: The publishing arm will retain the News Corporation moniker, “in keeping with the company’s 60-year heritage of bringing news to the world,” and the entertainment company will be known as Fox Group. Today’s announcement focused primarily on the publishing business and notably said that stand-alone publication of The Daily iPad app will cease on December 15. The brand will “live on in other channels,” the company said. Founding editor of The Daily, Jesse Angelo, will become publisher of The New York Post.
Other management moves include deputy editor-in-chief of the Journal, Gerard Baker, succeeding Thompson at the paper and at Dow Jones and the appointment of former MGM CFO Bedi Ajay Singh to the role of CFO of the publishing company. In London, BSkyB COO Mike Darcey will replace Tom Mockridge as CEO of News International; Mockridge announced his departure on Sunday. Below is this morning’s full News Corp press release:
NEW YORK – December 3, 2012 – News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today announced that Dow Jones Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal Robert Thomson will become the CEO of the new proposed publishing entity, following the Company’s intended separation into two independent, publicly traded companies.
In keeping with the company’s 60-year heritage of bringing news to the world, the publishing entity will retain the name News Corporation. The media and entertainment company, which began in earnest when Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch acquired 20th Century Fox and launched the Fox Network more than 25 years ago, will be named Fox Group.
As previously announced, Rupert Murdoch will serve as Chairman of the new News Corporation and Chairman and CEO of Fox Group. Chase Carey will serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of Fox Group, with James Murdoch continuing in his capacity as Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Under their collective leadership, Fox Group will continue to strengthen its creative content businesses and distribution assets, including enhancing its sports portfolio through key investments in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
The news is not surprising since he’d been unhappy at the company for some time and had been a leading candidate for the Yahoo CEO job. “While my time spent has been productive, it feels like the right time to exit,” Jon Miller said in a statement. “I look forward to pursuing new ventures that will lead me back into an operational role.” The company announced today that Miller will leave his post at the end of September as News Corp is about to split into two companies: one entertainment, one publishing. Miller will bean outside advisor to News Corp on digital issues through fall 2013.
Though widely liked and respected, Miller has been News Corp’s Chief Digital Officer since 2009 and unfortunately witnessed Rupert Murdoch pursue mostly unsuccessful new digital initiatives. Miller was News Corp’s key man for repeated efforts to sell Hulu and the point person in wrangling the bids, but those are now on hold. He also presided over The Daily which has proved to be Rupert’s folly and a very public failure and embarrassment that recently slashed staff by a third. Miller also saw the steep decline of MySpace which was the hottest social networking service online when News Corp purchased it in 2005 for $580M. Then it was overtaken by Facebook in 2008 so staff layoffs and multiple redesigns ensued. Finally News Corp unloaded MySpace in 2011 for just $35M.
Last summer, Glee star Jane Lynch appeared at a tech conference held by the Wall Street Journal‘s All Things Digital. Acting as “temporary head honcho of News Corp,” she described changes she’d be implementing at the company. The first was closing iPad publication The Daily. “Never heard of it, never seen it, so clearly I’ll be shutting that down,” she said. The powers that be may now be taking her advice. The fate of the tablet publication that is said to have losses of about $30M per year, is being weighed by News Corp according to The New York Times and The New York Observer. The Daily was launched with much fanfare in early 2011 after being designed with help from the late Steve Jobs. Although it said in February that it had 100,000 paying subscribers and 250,000 unique readers a month, it has not exactly redefined the news as touted at its introduction. According to The Observer, the status of The Daily will be assessed after the presidential election in November.