Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has finally announced media's worst kept secret, that The Sun on Sunday will begin to run 'very soon', replacing the now defunct News of the World.
Media buyers have begun to offer their views on whether the newspaper will be success with advertisers and readers alike.
Liam Mullins, head of press at media buying agency the7stars:
There has been a huge gap from a customer perspective over the last few months and it was distinctly News of the Screws shaped. No Sunday paper has managed to hold on to those big initial reader gains as seen over subsequent ABC periods. No other title offers the quality celeb gossip or salacious firsts that the Screws did. As long we have seen the end of some of the controversial practices that closed the Screws in the first place the audience will certainly embrace a Sunday Sun. Advertisers need to be where the readers are and therefore will be supportive of the launch – it has the potential to do massive numbers. As long as Murdoch and the rest of News International manage it correctly, it could be a big success.
Jenny McManus, account director for Press at Carat Edinburgh
With press circulations in the Sunday market down almost 20% YoY we are really excited that Rupert Murdoch has finally announced the imminent launch of the Sun on Sunday despite all the current controversy surrounding the Sun. Whether or not the Sun on Sunday will reach the same kind of circulation that the NotW did (around the 2.6 million mark) is highly questionable and no doubt many ex NotW readers will have now found a new paper that fits their bill. All the Sunday pops have benefited from closure of the NotW in terms of copy sales, however The Sunday Mirror has benefited the most by adding on around 700,000 copy sales a week. Nonetheless we believe there is certainly still a gap in the Sunday marketplace for a mass market product. This new launch is good news for press buyers and will offer a far more competitive playing field in this marketplace. All in all, this kind of investment in the print product is a real boost to the newspaper industry.
Alun Lucas, head of trading press, MEC Manchester:
I expect the new Sun on Sunday to be popular with advertisers, plugging the Sunday coverage gap left by the dearly departed NOTW. Their main challenge will be to leverage yields up to what they were previously getting on the NOTW. Their new circulation and the challenging market conditions may allow buyers to achieve lower rates than previously.
Bill Jones. managing director, Twenty Twenty Media Vision
Excellent news! I made a bet with Lord Harris of Carpetright on the future and timing of a new Sunday title from News international and I fully expect to retire now on the winnings!
The closure of the News of the World was disastrous for both its readership and its advertisers.
It offered a niche (if a 2.7 million circulation and around 7.6 million readers can ever be described as niche) audience that, with its demise, has largely dispersed like smoke on the breeze.
Only around a half transferred to any other Sunday title (the Sunday Mirror making the most significant gains) and after an initial spike, even that enthusiasm is waning.
That’s a huge chunk of disenfranchised readership in want of a satisfying Sunday red top. With such a wealth of resources behind the new launch, something will have to be very wrong in the mix for it to fail.
I imagine the new title will be a spectacular success with both readers and advertisers – and most particularly retailers. I’ll be very interested to see how the editorial stance will be positioned.
Rubert Murdoch image via Shutterstock