Murdoch Hopes Apple Will Lower Its Share Of ‘The Daily’ Take

Tuesday night’s soireee at Rupert Murdoch’s apartment and today’s Guggenheim press conference were just the beginning for the News Corp (NSDQ: NWS) marketing machine. Murdoch’s next stop was an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network, where even questions some might see as softballs wound up with a few curves. Turns out Murdoch hopes Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) might back off its 30 percent take after a year. Some excerpts:

Murdoch: … No one cares on their credit card, $0.99.

Cavuto: You hope not.

Murdoch: They’re worried about their wives’ $100.

Cavuto: I want to ask you, how much are you making on that? Because it’s $0.99, but typically, typically Apple takes a third.

Murdoch: That’s correct.

Cavuto: Now, is it taking a third here?

Murdoch: At least the first year, yes. We’ll be getting $0.70.

Cavuto: All right. But it goes — so you say at least the first year. It goes down after that?

Murdoch: We — no. Up, we hope.

Cavuto: But down for Apple.

Murdoch: That’s subject to negotiation.

Number of subs needed:

Cavuto: OK. So how many subscriptions would you have to get to break even, to make this worthwhile?

Murdoch: Oh, half a million would be no problem. But we’re not talking about half a million. I want to beat American Idol … I really believe that everybody in America who can afford one is going to buy a tablet.

Cavuto: But you’re competing with yourself, right? … “Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Market Watch, New York Post.

Murdoch: Fox and Friends competes with Channel 5 and Channel 7 here in the morning.

Cavuto: You’re right, You’re right. But are you worried that net (ph) you don’t gain anything from that?

Murdoch: Oh, there may be some expensive changeover. Net-net I think we will get.

And about that editorial page:

Cavuto: Got you. The editorial direction of this, I’m told it’s agnostic. … it’s not liberal or conservative. Then, what is it?

Murdoch: Oh, I wouldn’t listen to that too much. We’ve said what it is. It’s a very patriotic American newspaper that newspaper that believes in free thinking and free markets and freedom for everybody. And you can read what you like into that. I don’t think that’s very different to anything else.

Cavuto: So when I see journalists, Rupert, from the “Atlantic,” “New Yorker,” AOL (NYSE: AOL), even the “New York Times,” that’s a pretty unusual mix.

Murdoch: They were there. Well, you know, every journalist is … being laid off and here I’m hiring them. So, it’s fine.

Cavuto: But there will be — the editorial page will look like what?

Murdoch: Like an editorial page. It’ll look like a normal page. It’ll say Opinion above it.

Cavuto: Will it be conservative?

Murdoch: That’ll depend on the editor and on the day.

Forget the end of the print:

Murdoch: I think this is the end of the laptop.

Cavuto: You do?

Murdoch: Here we have the man who invented the personal computer, then the laptop. He’s now destroying them. That is an amazing life.