Last week I reported that Rupert Murdoch was working with Apple to create a new iPad newspaper called The Daily. A few more details have been reported about the venture – less about the app itself – but more about who’s involved. The New Yorker is reporting that Murdoch’s News Corp is investing $30 million (another source cited $35 million) into it. The publication will have a culture section edited by New Yorker critic Sasha Frere-Jones, an entertainment coverage helmed by “Page Six” ‘s Richard Johnson. The Op-ed will feature both conservative and liberal thinkers. The Op-Ed page will be edited by former Forbes editor and columnist Elisabeth Eaves.
In chasing the iPad audience, Murdoch is making the calculation that there’s space for a product that doesn’t take a side in the predictable left-right cage match. These readers, in this thinking, demand a new brand of journalism, and Murdoch wants to be the guy who supplies it. “This isn’t a red-state device,” one person involved in the project explained. Indeed, recall that Apple’s rollout of the iPad showcased what Murdoch’s hated New York Times would look like on the tablet. Murdoch, ever the operator, is positioning The Daily to have a sensibility that can also claim some of that Apple mojo while providing a spicier alternative to the Times.