News Corp .said it would lay off 29% of its full-time staff at the Daily, the struggling national news publication created in early 2011 to reach a new generation of readers by taking advantage of the soaring popularity of Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet computer.
The media conglomerate said Tuesday that the loss of 50 of its 170 employees was part of a broader reorganization that would include a refocusing of certain aspects of its coverage.
The Sports and Opinion sections have seen the lightest readership and will be reorganized. Sports reporting is provided by Fox Sports and other content partners. The Daily will no longer have a stand-alone Opinion section, with editorials appearing in news pages and clearly marked.
News Corp.said the Daily will continue to invest in original reporting, photography and video, interactivity and information graphics.
“These are important changes that will allow The Daily to be more nimble editorially and to focus on the elements that our readers have told us through their consumption that they like and want,” Editor in Chief Jesse Angelo said in a statement. “Unfortunately, these changes have forced us to make difficult decisions.”
The Daily — touted as a bold experiment to capitalize on a new and powerful distribution platform — nonetheless has struggled to find its footing. This month the New York Observer reported that the tabloid was losing $30 million a year.
Publisher Greg Clayman issued a statement, expressing optimism for the Daily’s future:
“As more and more people buy and use tablets in their daily lives, The Daily will grow with them. We have consistently remained one of the top-ranked paid news apps since our launch, and have steadily grown our subscriber base.”
News Corp.declined a request to make Clayman or Angelo available for comment.