One could say it was the end of an era, if the era of tablet-only, original news publications had ever really gotten started. The News Corporation has announced it is shutting down its venture in full-scale tablet news publishing, The Daily.

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The Daily was launched to much fanfare in early 2011, as the first iPad-only digital newspaper, and editions were also released for the iPhone, the Kindle Fire and selected Android devices. It was built on a subscription model, with a per-day charge of 99 cents or an annual fee of US$ 39.99. Unlike many digital publications, which try to focus on specific niche topics or which filter others’ content, The Daily sought to be an original general interest publication, with stories on current news, technology, sports and other topics.

No More Standalone

The company said that The Daily iPad app will cease “standalone publication” as of December 15, but that the brand will “live on in other channels” in unspecified ways. At least some staff are being reshuffled and folded into News Corp’s New York Post. The founding Editor-in-Chief, Jesse Angelo, will become Publisher of the Post, where he had previously been Executive Editor.

News Corporation had indicated The Daily had problems earlier this year, when it laid off about one-third of the 150 staff members. The resulting publication had reduced coverage in some areas, such as sports.

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp’s chairman and chief executive, described The Daily in a statement as “a bold experiment in digital publishing.” But, he added, the company could not find a “large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.”

#1 News App

In February, 2011, The Daily launched with the mission of providing “the best news experience by combining world-class storytelling with the unique interactive capabilities of the iPad,” as the company said on its website. It soon became the #1 news app in Apple’s App Store, and won several design and other awards.

The announcement of The Daily’s demise accompanies more details about News Corporation’s split, first announced in June. The publishing company will still be called News Corporation and will retain The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, HarperCollins and various television assets in Australia. The entertainment group’s name will be Fox Group, and its possessions will include Fox Broadcasting, Fox News and 20th Century Fox studio.