News Corp., Apple delay launch of iPad newspaper

By Associated Press
Posted Jan. 14 at 12:32 p.m.

News Corp. is pushing back the launch of the world’s first iPad-only newspaper.

The company declined to comment on why. But a person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Friday that News Corp. and iPad maker Apple Inc. have decided to delay the launch while they work on the technology involved in providing subscriptions.

This person said the holdup will be weeks and not months.

A formal announcement about the new publication, called The Daily, had been slated for Wednesday. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and Apple CEO Steve Jobs were scheduled to attend a launch event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The delay was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal, which is also owned by News Corp.

The company has staffed bureaus around the country to provide material for the publication. It will cover general news, culture and entertainment and will include video.

Since it went on sale last year, the iPad has kindled new hopes for professional journalism in the digital age. Traditional publishers are betting the iPad and its imitators can help provide new sources of advertising and subscription revenue.

And many of them need it. The economics of news on the Web have been brutal for print publishers. Space for Web advertising typically sells at just a fraction of what it does in print, and few publications have been able to successfully charge readers for online access to stories.

News Corp. has revealed few details about The Daily. It has not said, for instance, what it will charge readers, if anything. But the company has been at the forefront of efforts to get subscription fees for digital content. The Wall Street Journal’s Web site has required a paid subscription for 14 years and the newspaper charges for its iPad app.

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