Apple News head of business Liz Schimel departs, Apple seeking replacement

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2020
Apple News executive Liz Schimel, who managed the business side of Apple's news aggregation and subscription service, has reportedly left the company following a rocky rollout and continuing struggles to bring in new customers.




Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg on Tuesday reports Schimel recently stepped down from her position as "head of news business" at Apple. Her departure comes less than a year after Apple News+ launched last March.

Schimel was hired by the Cupertino tech giant in mid-2018 to manage relationships with new publishers and advertisers. Before her time at Apple, the media veteran served as president of Conde Nast International and was named entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) at Comcast Ventures in January 2018. Prior to 2018, she served as chief digital officer at Meredith Corporation, held VP roles at Nokia and AT&T, and served as SVP of Entertainment at Comcast from 2005 to 2008.

Apple is looking to replace Schimel with a "notable name" from the publishing world, the report said.

News of the executive's departure arrives as Apple looks to strengthen its burgeoning services arm. Apple News is a major pillar of the company's services strategy alongside relatively new products like Apple Music and Apple TV. The category also includes legacy products iCloud, iTunes and Books.

Launched in 2015, Apple News initially served as a free first-party news aggregator for iOS. A $10-per-month subscription tier debuted last year with support from a number of high-profile publications including People and dailies like The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. Apple was unable, however, to negotiate deals with big-name papers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, both of which offer their own subscription services.

Following what was at the time described as an impressive launch, Apple News+ has over the past months failed to attract a significant number of new subscribers, according to a report in November. Beyond slow growth rates, publishers participating in the service have complained of lower than expected revenues, an issue Apple has been working on since last June.

Apple is reluctant to share precise subscription numbers detailing its various services and instead offers only vague metrics and empty platitudes. In an earnings conference call last week, CEO Tim Cook said News "draws over 100 million monthly active users in the U.S., UK, Australia and Canada," but failed to report subscriber figures or reveal how many publications are participating in the service's paid version.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    Ugh. Apple needs to get out of this aspect of their business. There’s no “win” here.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    What’s Apple News?

    (Seriously, it was someone’s stupid vanity project, poorly implemented. I couldn’t even get it to enlarge font size on the iPhone or iPad. On the iPhone it wouldn’t switch to landscape view. I didn’t bother with it after the first couple of days. I sincerely hope that Apple’s other “+” monniker-ed creations don’t end up suffering the same fate in due course.)
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Apple needs to put Apple News out of it's misery and move on...
  • Reply 4 of 25
    Attempted to use the service but only liberal outlets ... not interested. Provide the news and let the user access what they want not Apple.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    Attempted to use the service but only liberal outlets ... not interested. Provide the news and let the user access what they want not Apple.
    I don’t think that’s true.  It appears the Apple News App pulls from Safari browsing data.  For example, I have both CNN and Fox News listed, among many others that have shown up after visiting their websites.  It’s possible that Apple is buying Google News tracking data, but how likely is that...

    As for Apple News+ subscriptions being liberal... I’m not sure what magazines or major news publications are right leaning.

    Maybe Apple would get more traction if they included podcasts and radio stations... those are more “news” related that many magazines.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,590member
    What’s Apple News?

    (Seriously, it was someone’s stupid vanity project, poorly implemented. I couldn’t even get it to enlarge font size on the iPhone or iPad. On the iPhone it wouldn’t switch to landscape view. I didn’t bother with it after the first couple of days. I sincerely hope that Apple’s other “+” monniker-ed creations don’t end up suffering the same fate in due course.)
    Apple News, the free service, is great.  The problem is News+
  • Reply 7 of 25
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,222member
    I subscribed and unsubscribed when it still provided me content that asked for subscription for a given website. That's not making it better. So, I am glad she's out.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    What’s Apple News?

    (Seriously, it was someone’s stupid vanity project, poorly implemented. I couldn’t even get it to enlarge font size on the iPhone or iPad. On the iPhone it wouldn’t switch to landscape view. I didn’t bother with it after the first couple of days. I sincerely hope that Apple’s other “+” monniker-ed creations don’t end up suffering the same fate in due course.)
    Apple News, the free service, is great.  The problem is News+
    News+ keeps getting better each week. People bemoaning should just watch and learn. The next hire will evolve the service far more than the whom they are replacing. Having a large investment in Apple I quite enjoy having the evolving News+ service as it keeps expanding. The noise from publishers continues to die down which means money is flowing in and they can now STFU.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    Attempted to use the service but only liberal outlets ... not interested. Provide the news and let the user access what they want not Apple.
    I agree, Apple News Top Stories rarely have stories from conservative sources.  Only stories from the "legacy" media outlets.  Like legacy software, the legacy media is out of date and behind the times.  As soon as Apple News becomes a truly non biased source of news I will subscribe.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    mike54 said:
    The only time I use Apple News (not +) is when I'm waiting in line for an extended period to check on what the latest mainstream news is on about.
    Real news and context I get elsewhere. I certainly wouldn't miss if it went away.

    Same here.
    I generally (90+%) get my news directly from original outlets on a laptop.   I only go to Apple News when that is not available.   But, as somebody else said, it is improving steadily and I find that I usually see things that I did not see in my normal sources which is always a pleasant surprise.

    I seldom access News+ anymore.  It is mostly just magazines but I am mostly interested in current news.   I got it hoping for access to subscription news services but the only one that signed up was the Wall Street Journal and even that has been heavily redacted with only selected stories.  Originally I could get around that by searching on a particular story but that work around has been eliminated -- so we only get to see the stories WSJ wants us to see.

    And I agree with others that the formatting has been poor -- and I find it especially poor on my MacBook.  It's so poor its hard for these old eyes to read.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    I am a News+ subscriber, but am still on the fence about it long-term. I definitely like the app itself, but I’m not that interested in most of the magazines offered. I was able to drop one of my physical subscriptions since I now get the same content through News+, but my wife still prefers physical magazines so anything she also reads like Nat Geo and Smithsonian we have to keep a standard subscription.

    The biggest value for me is from higher-quality papers like the Wall Street Journal and LA Times. But as others have noted the WSJ content is very limited. If they could have signed up the NYT and Washington Post then News+ would have been a no-brainer. That said, I’m going to stick with it and see if it improves.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    Attempted to use the service but only liberal outlets ... not interested. Provide the news and let the user access what they want not Apple.
    Always find it strangely amusing how the term "liberal" is distorted and misused. For example, most Republicans (usually Conservatives) are quite liberal when it comes to Defense (no spending limits), while most Democrats (usually Liberal) are quite conservative when it comes to protecting the environment, i.e. maintaining the natural order. By contrast, most Republicans are quite liberal when it comes to protecting the environment (natural environment takes backseat to lax regulations) while most Democrats are quite conservative when it comes to expanding the armed forces etc.  But I digress...I do agree the content ought to be broadened to allow users to pick/choose from a wide spectrum of opinions, as long as those sources are based on fact and not bot-driven fake news outlets. That goes for all aspects of the political spectrum.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    As for Apple News+ subscriptions being liberal... I’m not sure what magazines or major news publications are right leaning.”   DITTO
    i subscribe simply to support this new service.   If you read a lot of news articles like I do then you should be very happy with the format.   Go to any website and you have a lot of Ad’s but Apple simplified the Ad space within News.   Also websites are blocking viewing if Ad blockers are on and/or restricting from switching to reader view.  Both of which were great before publishers got ‘smart’
    Apple News is an improvement but not a game changer.   Generally when Apple comes out with something we are used to it being a game changer. 

  • Reply 14 of 25
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,590member
    What’s Apple News?

    (Seriously, it was someone’s stupid vanity project, poorly implemented. I couldn’t even get it to enlarge font size on the iPhone or iPad. On the iPhone it wouldn’t switch to landscape view. I didn’t bother with it after the first couple of days. I sincerely hope that Apple’s other “+” monniker-ed creations don’t end up suffering the same fate in due course.)
    Apple News, the free service, is great.  The problem is News+
    News+ keeps getting better each week. People bemoaning should just watch and learn. The next hire will evolve the service far more than the whom they are replacing. Having a large investment in Apple I quite enjoy having the evolving News+ service as it keeps expanding. The noise from publishers continues to die down which means money is flowing in and they can now STFU.
    "The next hire will evolve the service far more than the whom they are replacing"

    1.  How can one be sure?

    2. How so?
  • Reply 15 of 25
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Attempted to use the service but only liberal outlets ... not interested. Provide the news and let the user access what they want not Apple.

    To so called "conservatives", anything not far right is "Liberal".  Reagan would get primaried today:  He was way too liberal for today's "conservatives".   He even (Gasp!) compromised with Demorats!

    No actual news service will ever be accepted by them.  
    edited February 2020 StrangeDaysDancingMonkeys
  • Reply 16 of 25
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,186member
    I subscribed at the beginning for three months. I enjoyed reading a few issues from notable magazines.  But in the end I didn’t see the value for the money, which admittedly is a subjective judgement.

    Content aside, the inconsistent format between publishers was a minor irritant, especially considering that I read most content from my iPhone and not an iPad, which would likely provide a better experience.  The mishandling of special characters in many headlines is something that never should have occurred in the first place.  And here we are today and it’s still not fixed.

    First impressions matter.
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 17 of 25
    karmadave said:
    Apple needs to put Apple News out of it's misery and move on...
    Thumbs up.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Attempted to use the service but only liberal outlets ... not interested. Provide the news and let the user access what they want not Apple.

    To so called "conservatives", anything not far right is "Liberal".  Reagan would get primaried today:  He was way too liberal for today's "conservatives".   He even (Gasp!) compromised with Demorats!

    No actual news service will ever be accepted by them.  
    Fake news. Kennedy would be on the outside looking in. He was for {gasp} tax cuts for "the rich".

    Trump was a democrat for decades until the party moved so far to the left he couldn't identify with it. Center-right America* has welcomed him with open arms. As they would Reagan today.

    *Which still defines most of America.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member

    karmadave said:
    Apple needs to put Apple News out of it's misery and move on...
    Thumbs up.
    What happened with the thumbs? Broken?
  • Reply 20 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,208member
    Attempted to use the service but only liberal outlets ... not interested. Provide the news and let the user access what they want not Apple.
    You're on drugs. The outlets are on there. You can train News on what you like.
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