SoS from Murdoch

Advertising sellers and journalists are toiling away on the first edition of The Sun on Sunday in Wapping.

The most important job is being done by the advertising sellers.  They have to persuade the advertisers that this is not the News of the World Mark II.  “It’s The Sun on Sunday (SoS)” they will have been trained to say over and over again.

Red ink for advertising

This is because it was not the loss of circulation that drowned the NoW, it was the haemorrhaging of the advertisers.

NY Post failure

Rupert Murdoch is not always successful in attracting advertisers to his tabloids.  He boosted the New York Post to a circulation of 700,000 or so and still could not attract advertisers.  Their income is essential to keep a paper alive today.  It broke his heart to sell it, despite his investment in the talents of English and Australian journalists to create that tabloid.  It is one of his few losses.

The SoS will have to match the great tradition of the NoW in its journalism.  And at its best, the NoW was a fine paper.

What’s the splash?

My hunch is that they will have somebody “locked up” in a safe house for their Sunday splash story.  It is harder now to keep the exclusive through the week for the Sunday papers without locking somebody up and paying them a large amount.  This may well spark another debate about “cheque book journalism” to add to the pain of News International.  Something else for Leveson to get its teeth into.

The SoS  will be packed with news, as is The Sun.  Larry Lamb, Murdoch’s first editor of The Sun had as many stories in it as The Daily Telegraph  had at the time.  And today the same is just about true.    Here are the figures for today’s editions:

Type of news story The Sun The Daily Telegraph
General 92 81
Sports 41 37
Business 13 28

Rupert will be at the presses seeing it off, I suspect.  And the print run and circulation?  NoW circulation topped off in the early 1950s at 8.4 million and closed at 2.7 million. Three million print run for SoS at least and circulation close to that, I also suspect.  If he gets more and has the advertising, he will be a very happy man —  for a while.

Popular website

And the SoS could drive more weekend web traffic to The Sun’s website which is already the 544th most popular website in the world and the 42nd in the UK, according to Alexa.

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