Sun on Sunday to launch next week

Rupert Murdoch in the Sun newsroom The News Corporation boss offered his support to News International journalists last week

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The Sun on Sunday is to publish for the first time next weekend, News International has announced.

An email to all staff said that Rupert Murdoch, boss of parent company News Corporation, would "be staying in London to oversee the launch".

Mr Murdoch flew in to the UK last week, and told Sun staff that a Sunday edition would be launched "very soon".

News International shut down its Sunday paper, the News of the World, last year amid the scandal over phone hacking.

There had been speculation about the possibility of a Sunday edition of the Sun since then, said BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas.

A gap in the market had been left by the News of the World's closure, he said, but as tabloid sales were declining it was unclear how much demand there was for the Sun for an extra day a week.

The internal memo from News International chief executive Tom Mockridge said: "As you know, News Corporation has made clear its determination to sort out what has gone wrong in the past and we are fundamentally changing how we operate as a business.

"The commitment of News Corporation to invest in a new edition is the strongest possible message of support we could wish for."

He went on: "This is our moment. I am sure every one of us will seize the opportunity to pull together and deliver a great new dawn for the Sun this Sunday."

Former News of the World political editor David Wooding said rivals would be ''quaking in their boots''

A report on the Sun website quoted editor Dominic Mohan as saying: "This is a truly historic moment in newspaper publishing and I am proud to be part of it."

Speaking to BBC News, former News of the World TV editor Tom Latchem said he expected the new paper to sell well.

"Certainly, there is no newspaper at the moment that comes close on a Sunday to matching what the News of the World was able to do, not only in the size of its readership but the money that was spent on it," he said.

"The Sun has got a remarkably loyal readership. I think [former News of the World readers] will go back to the Sun on Sunday.

"Whether you like the Sun or whether you like the News of the World or whether you don't, it's a great move for British newspaper journalism at a time when sales and advertising revenue are dwindling."

On a visit to News International's headquarters in Wapping, east London, on Thursday, Mr Murdoch pledged "unwavering support" for his journalists.

'Perverted democracy'

Since last November, 10 current and former Sun senior reporters and executives have been arrested over alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

Anger has been expressed by some Sun staff at the decision of News Corporation's management and standards committee - set up to investigate allegations of wrongdoing - to pass information to the police.

Trevor Kavanagh, the paper's associate editor told the BBC the paper's publisher, News International, was the subject of a "witch-hunt" and the arrest of journalists at the paper as part of the police investigation was "disproportionate".

"There are journalists in every other newspaper, including those leading the charge against us, who deploy exactly the same methods and procedures of trying to unearth stories which are in the public interest," he said.

Start Quote

Thank God for the the Sun on Sunday”

End Quote Raymond Morris Former News of the World reader

Last week, Mr Murdoch lifted the suspensions of the arrested workers, but said their detentions had been a "great source of pain", adding: "Illegal activities simply cannot and will not be tolerated."

A number of people have contacted the BBC to express their views on the new newspaper.

Graham Forsyth, from Chard, in Somerset, said the Sun had "perverted democracy" and took "populist views", while providing "no balance".

"I wouldn't buy the Sun on Sunday. The Sun is feeding a dislike and hatred of any socialist policies - it's almost like the Tea Party in the [United] States," he said.

But Raymond Morris, from Luton, took a different view.

He used to buy the News of the World and said he felt other Sunday newspapers were "boring".

Mr Morris told the BBC: "When it comes to phone hacking it doesn't really affect me or bother me. It wasn't very nice, was it? But if one paper does it maybe other papers do it too.

"Thank God for the the Sun on Sunday: I can't wait, well done."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 289.

    I don't really like the Sun newspaper or NOTW, so my decision, quite simply, is to read something else! It's fair & reasonable that Mr Murdoch wants to claw back his Sunday readers, and what better way than by releasing Sunday Sun? This isn't illegal, or morally unjust, it's just business. Freedom works both ways, y'know - we're all allowed to NOT buy things, too..!

  • rate this

    Comment number 216.

    It's a newspaper nothing more nothing less, it might be right wing and then it will become left wing in the near future, the sports will be ok the celebs will be clambouring to get in it then will sue them.
    No one will frog march anyone to the shop to by what's the big deal?

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    The new News of the World... How unexpected of News Corp.

    It's the public really, if there was no demand there would be no newspaper at all, so you can't blame them for trying!

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    It is probably true that the majority of those who buy the Sun will not be commenting on this blog. It's also probably true that they outnumber the bloggers here by many hundreds of thousands and that they don't give a hoot what is said about them or the paper.
    Sun critics and supporters are both right in equal measure. Both have the right to vote with their pockets and will do just that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    We know some people will chose to buy this. However News Corp must understand that a readership - even one that is relatively sizable - will only ever represent a small percentage of the UK population. Murdoch and his staff must realise they do not have a mandate to do as they please. Whilst I don't hold high hopes for the quality of journalism I do expect they conduct their business ethically.


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