February 3rd, 2011
03:55 AM GMT
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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.

The cost is 99 cents a week, pretty inexpensive. And the visuals and pictures are incredible. Still, the jury is out on whether there is enough unique content to keep readers coming back.

For a closer look, check out our TV coverage. If you have an iPad try it out and let us know. There is a free trial for two weeks. What works and what is missing?

P.S.  Helpful hint: If you are going to try it, you need to hold the tablet upright like a book, not sideways, in order for some of the interactive elements to work. Took us a while to figure that out!!

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Jay

    "The fact that Murdoch felt it necessary to personally kick things off is a testament to how important the S*** online has become to the media industry."

    February 3, 2011 at 6:32 am |
  2. Manuel Vilhena

    Newspapers need to go to the web in order to survive.

    February 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  3. Chris

    Newspapers going to web to survive is true no doubt about it .... but i still believe the old fashioned newspaper has the potential to reach a larger audience in remote and rural areas of a country where the internet is still not available. No doubt we have the technology to provide that too -> but do we have the customers to access this tech .... i say "online is an additional revenue source with print in the overall scheme of things" and not the one and only solution.

    February 6, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  4. Norman Speight

    I never saw anything closer to death than this. Murdoch himself really doesn't seem that enthusiastic. No real surprise, people are less and less willing to pay for news when there is always somewhere where you can get it for free. Newspapers used to 'own' the news, it was the only place you could get it. This is no longer the case, the day of the 'Newspaper mogul' Hearst, Murdoch, Black and Beaverbrook is as current as the biplane. Also remember, Murdoch is in debt up to his testimonials. NOT a good starting point. All he is trying to do is to tie in to the Apple success story. Sorry mate, won't work anymore than you charging for the content of the Times did, or is.

    February 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm |

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