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 88.

    "Just look at all the brain-dead, gullible and illiterate sheep we have in the country."

    Aye, but imagine how much trouble the powers-that-be would be in if all those people were educated and able to think for themselves!

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    @76 It's newsworthy because it's important to show how Murdoch will happily make untrue claims with impunity, such as how he was going to 'close down' the NoTW - supposedly out of remorse. It goes to the lack of credibility of any statement or claim coming from his publications. It's such an obvious and transparent deception that it should be possible to explain it even to readers of his papers.

  • 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 85.

    Of course the Sun on Sunday will be a roaring success. Just look at all the brain-dead, gullible and illiterate sheep we have in the country. They'll believe anything... so long as it's in the Sun

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    "19.Except For Viewers In Scotland
    34 Minutes ago
    The Sun will always have it's knockers"

    There's no apostrophe in "it's".

  • 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.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Journalists say they require freedom to pry and report on any person or event that is in the puplic interest (in their view).
    How is it that no one has reported that this new Sunday paper is to be launched. All London journalists (print and broadcast) must have known that staff were being recruited. It appears that it is okay to suppress information if it is to their advantage.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    As long as we have a craven political elite then this man will continue to own the majority of Britain's press. From thatcher through to Blair/Brown our govts have supped with this appalling man. Blair even let him own press although he was foreign. Our economy and relations with Europe are a direct result of his papers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    I still don't believe Murdoch knew nothing about the phone hacking. Why he wasn't arrested and made to stand trial the moment he set foot in the UK is beyond me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Someone said there was to be a new NEWS paper on a Sunday.
    Then I read it was to be the Sun.

    Was the original listing a mistake or Has April Fools day fallen early this year?

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    Was the contrite closing of News of the World a PR move, then? This is, in effect, the re-opening of the NoW.
    Murdoch seems still to have his eyes on the main prize, ie control of the telly. Perhaps he knows something we don't?

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    So the sleazy News of the World will be back with a new masthead. How is that newsworthy?

    Who cares? I won't be reading any daily or weekly newspaper because none of them are worth the paper they're printed on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    What better way to show how contrite he is over the phone hacking scandal. The saddest thing is it will probably be a huge success!

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    Hi 45.
    I dont think your comments about balance stand up. It's quite subtle, but the BBC editors' choice and order of stories, and selection of talking heads reveal their hand. Jeremy Hardy AND Mark Steel on the same 'News Quiz'. Balance? I think not. The Sun does not claim balance but you do not have to buy it - and I do not! But I despise the BBC's soft liberalism and £4bn pa guaranteed income

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    @59 It's missing the point to say 'you don't have to buy it.' While that is true in general, here we have Murdoch making a promise to close down the NoTW - so he should be held to that promise. How much did his company make from increased sales from the - now proved false - claim that he was closing down the paper, and not just renaming it? It is legitimate to point out this kind of fraud.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    Why is he allowed to publish anything in this country?
    He controls a group that flagrantly abuses the law of privacy
    and bribes serving police officers et al.
    Disgracefully,no doubt he will carry on and make more millions
    from people buying his trash.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    A newspaper published six days out of seven with a declining readership is going to publish an extra day? Is this the biggest non-event of the year?

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    What're the odds on The Sun on Sunday being renamed, due of course to popular demand, to the News of the World within a year?

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Unfortunately, educational standards are now at such a low, (having declined for decades), that drivel such as The Sun, The late-& -unlamented NOTW, & the Mail/Express etc. are what passes for weighty journalism in most households. This in turn explains a great deal about the ridiculous amounting of pandering to the mob that our current government is doing.


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