News Corp. COO Gets Agitated Defending The Daily

Company has spent $10 million on tablet publication

Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily—the first experiment in a national daily news publication created exclusively for iPad—has, so far, been hemorrhaging money. Chase Carey, chief operating officer of News Corp., told listeners on the company’s earnings call on Wednesday that the company has already spent $10 million on The Daily.

Carey referred to The Daily as a “work in progress” and reminded participants that the tablet publication is still in its "early days." (It launched Feb. 2.) When asked about how many of those who'd taken advantage of a free trial subscription went over to a paid subscription, Carey grew mildly agitated and said, "We’re only a month into this." He explained that News Corp. is "not going to build this in a fishbowl"—the company plans to experiment with The Daily based on what appears to be most attractive to consumers, Carey said. Murdoch’s second in command repeatedly described The Daily as an endeavor that will take some figuring out and that involves "a lot of moving parts."  

News Corp. did say that there have been 800,000 downloads of The Daily, but it didn't provide a breakdown of paid subscribers. “This will be a very different business a year from now . . . and will continue to evolve,” Carey said.