Head of Apple News+ leaves after lackluster start

By

Liz Schimel was Apple’s Head of News Business.
Liz Schimel handled the business side of Apple News+, but apparently not any more.
Photo: Condé Nast

Liz Schimel joined Apple’s news division in 2018, and was on board during the launch of News+. But the subscription service hasn’t seen much success, and now Schimel has left the company according to a published report on Tuesday.

She wasn’t in charge of all Apple’s magazine subscription service. Instead, she handled the business side, dealing with publishers and advertising. The editor in chief of Apple News+ is Lauren Kern, who isn’t leaving the company.

Didn’t survive Apple News+

Prior to joining Apple, Schimel worked as the president of Condé Nast China, along with being an entrepreneur-in-residence at Comcast Ventures.

When she came on board two years ago, Apple News had already launched as an article aggregation service. By then, the groundwork for News+ had been laid when Apple acquired Texture, a digital magazine subscription service, earlier that year.

Last March, Apple debuted its version of the service and it immediately began to go nowhere. Apple has mostly kept mum about subscriber numbers, but unconfirmed reports say publishers are seeing so little revenue putting into question how many will continue to put their magazines in this all-you-can-read service.

And now Schimel has left the company, according to Bloomberg. A specific reason for her departure is unknown, but a failure to get the New York Times and Washington Post to join News+ can’t have helped.

That said, Schimel’s LinkedIn profile still says she works at Apple as “Head of News Business.” Of course, it’s possible this simply hasn’t been updated yet.

News as a service

Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+
Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple News+ are all subscription services.
Photo: Cult of Mac

News+ is one of the multiple subscription services Apple launched last year, including Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. Apple Music has been going for quite some time, while the App Store is also included in the company’s services division.

As a group, they are going very well. Services brought in more revenue last quarter than sales of Macs or iPads. But not all the services are contributing equally. There are reports of possible weak demand for Apple TV+ and Schimel’s departure is a bit of black eye for Apple News+.