I spoke to a person inside The Daily who held a $40,000 reporter position for the now shuttered “daily iPad newspaper.” While not completely blindsided, they had little inkling of what was going on inside the paper but there was always an undercurrent of doubt. “When the layoffs happened in the summer,” the said. “You saw it coming. People were dropping off.”
The company was about 100 strong when News Corp announced the shutdown. The plan to move Robert Thomson to head of publishing on Friday was the first clue that something was afoot and as the morning progressed employees were sure their fate was sealed.
The main problem at the Daily, wrote my source, was the idea that News Corp could produce a new daily paper online. Although it was updated regularly – “It wasn’t exactly one issue per day” – the concept just didn’t work. The source also noted that there were very little of the analytic fussing that went into more standard web publications. The source noted that analytics were available – number of clicks, reads, etc. – but they were not pushed as a performance metric.
Then they were fired. In the end, my source was glad for the experience.
“Were you happy you worked there?” I asked.
“I think it made me better, yes,” they wrote.