Murdoch readies launch of new internet-only newspaper
IN another move that will be closely watched by the newspaper industry, Rupert Murdoch is to launch a newspaper purely as an online application.
Reports in the United States indicate that the new paper will be launched by Mr Murdoch's News Corporation and will only be available as a paid for application (app) on tablet computers such as the Apple iPad and smart phones.
The newsroom for the new publication will be operated by the 'New York Post', Mr Murdoch's Manhattan tabloid, and will be run by the Post's managing editor.
No start date is confirmed yet but it is expected to be before the end of the year.
On a company earnings call at the start of the month, the media mogul said that apps were the future of newspapers.
"We'll have young people reading newspapers. They're a real game-changer in the presentation of news," he said.
Unlike News Corp's business-centric 'Wall Street Journal', the new digital newspaper would target a more general readership, offering short, snappy stories that could be digested quickly. That would put it in direct competition with the likes of 'USA Today' and the 'New York Times', which the 'Journal' is already battling in the New York area.
Mr Murdoch has long advocated some sort of pay model for newspapers online. Last month, 'The Times' of London and 'The Sunday Times' went behind a paywall in an effort to recoup revenue that has been lost by falling advertising and print sales.
Alan Mutter, a media and technology consultant, said it remained to be seen whether tablet computers would allow old-line print publications to reach new, younger readers.
Preliminary research shows that newspapers attract readers aged 40 and older regardless of how the news is disseminated. "Newspaper content tends to attract -- whether on print or on an iPad or however -- mostly the same kind of readers," Mr Mutter said. "Not necessarily younger readers." (Additional reporting, wire services)