James Murdoch is the chairman and chief executive of News Corp. And he’s the son of Rupert Murdoch, the mogul who created the far-flung media empire that includes everything from Fox Broadcasting to the Wall Street Journal.
Murdoch offered a window into the tough problem of straddling two different businesses, new media and old media in a talk at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich this week. While News Corp. is anchored in the old world media, it has to invest in new media such as The Daily in order to survive, he said.
He began his talk by discussing the upcoming launch of The Daily, the first newspaper created from the ground up, exclusively for the Apple iPad.
The Daily has a staff of 126 people and Murdoch said it will stand or fail on the quality of its journalism, not fancy graphics on Apple’s tablets. It will likely sell for 99 cents, although it isn’t clear whether News Corp. will offer alternative payment models such as subscriptions.
Murdoch said The Daily will have original stories, not generic posts ripped out of the latest news feeds. He said that News Corp.’s overall mission is about “storytelling.” That can be digital or physical, but Murdoch acknowledged that the vast majority of revenue comes from TV, while newspapers themselves are less than 15 percent. Although The Daily is all digital, Murdoch said the company still believes in paper products and that some of its newspapers and books are setting new records.
Murdoch was interviewed on stage by journalist Kai Diekmann, editor in chief of the Bild Group. Here’s our video of a portion of the interview.
Disclosure: The Digital Life Design conference paid my way to Munich so I could moderate a panel. VentureBeat’s coverage of the conference remains objective and independent.