I hope Rupert Murdoch is not a superstitious man. The Daily, already beset by delays, launched as a winter ice storm slammed New York. The show went on, though Murdoch cancelled our scheduled interview due to the conditions (at least that is what his press people told us!)
The fact that Murdoch felt it necessary to personally kick things off is a testament to how important the shift online has become to the media industry. Newspapers and magazines are in decline and titans like Murdoch are trying to figure out how to claw back readers.
A legendary newspaper man, Murdoch seemed slightly out of place at the launch. He read from a prompter and lacked the zeal that Steve Jobs would have brought had he been well enough to attend. (He was originally rumored to unveil The Daily with Murdoch at a San Francisco launch when news of his health broke and that event was postponed).
At the press event Murdoch deflected most questions about content and function to his executives in attendance. The only time he sprang to life is when reporters asked about advertising and I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise. He is, after all, a savvy businessman and he knows where the money is migrating.
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