Rupert Murdoch Kills ‘Project Alesia’ Digital Newsstand Plan


Nicknamed after Julius Caesar’s victorious siege of Gallic forces in 52 B.C., Rupert Murdoch’s “Project Alesia” was supposed to be his attack against Google News, which he’s always seen as a content-thieving enterprise. By bundling together all of News Corp.’s publications — along with the publications of other big media companies — he would take on the aggregation giant and deliver content to mobile devices and tablets himself. But Reuters reports today that “Project Alesia” has been called off for now, and the employees working on it have been assigned to other tasks. (The “Daily Planet,” what insiders called the new news product that was supposed to be launched with Alesia, has also been set aside for now.) According to a News Corp. source, Murdoch was not able to attract a “critical mass” of publishers to support the plan. In fact, one publisher said his company didn’t take the pitch seriously, and another even described it as “lame.”

News Corp ices Alesia digital newsstand plan: source [Reuters]
Related: Gabriel Sherman’s 2010 New York profile of Rupert Murdoch [NYM]