Apple’s News Service business chief departs after slow start


The head of business for Apple Inc.’s news app stepped down less than a year after launching a high-profile subscription product that has struggled to attract paying readers.

Liz Schimel, the outgoing executive, joined in mid-2018 after serving as the president of international business at magazine publisher Conde Nast, said people familiar with the move who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters. At Apple, Schimel oversaw relationships with advertisers and news publishers.

Of all Apple’s services, News+ seemed to me the toughest win for Apple. When Apple took on the music space, it had a stronger financial model, consumers very willing to pay for songs to bring from CD to their hard drives and then pay again for the monthly all-you-can-eat of Apple Music. Apple also had Steve Jobs building and cementing those initial relationships.

Much has changed since the iTunes Store launched back in 2003. Liz Schimel had an unenviable, difficult task convincing publishers that News+ was their savior. Too much competition in news aggregation, much of it free.

To me, this is not a sign of doom for Apple News+. More a sign that change is needed. And if the Bloomberg report is correct, change is coming.