Is Rupert Murdoch's iPad newspaper The Daily headed for the knacker's yard? Absolutely not, the Daily's editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo has forcefully made clear following reports last week in The New York Times and the New York Observer that News Corp. top brass had "identified the iPad tabloid as a money loser to be watched as belts tighten across the company’s publishing units."
In a hard-hitting memo, Angelo congratulated staff on the Daily's new weekend magazine, and added, “As for the latest misinformed, untrue rumors of our imminent demise, I would urge you to ignore them.
"Since before we launched, our dear friends at competing media outlets have done their best to wish us ill and gleefully ‘report’ on what they think is going on here.
"The truth is we have over 100,000 paying subs who are renewing their subscriptions at a 98% rate and fantastic advertisers who love our brand and keep coming back for more because they get results. Pay attention to them, not the haters."
Angelo said all media outlets, "including the ones writing about us", are under pressure to prove themselves as businesses.
"We are no exception, and to be sure, we will need to continue to evolve, adapt and change in order to compete and be successful. As something new and different, we are an easy target for erroneous wishful thinking. But make no mistake, we will be nimble and we will compete.”
The NYT had said News Corporation was "deciding the fate of The Daily," launched just over a year ago by Rupert Murdoch.
Sources confirmed, said the Times, that The Daily was on probation and at a crossroads while the company reconsidered whether it could turn around losses that were estimated at roughly $30 million a year.
The New York Observer earlier reported that the first made-for-the-iPad daily publication had received a warning from the News Corporation, its parent company.
However despite Angelo's spirited defence, it appears that the the Daily is not attracting hordes of NEW subscribers.
The Daily said in February it had 100,000 subscribers - roughly the same figure used by Angelo - and 250,000 unique readers each month. They were paying 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year.
Publisher Greg Clayman told The Times in February that The Daily was on track to break even in five years, short of the average time it takes for a print magazine to see a profit.