It is “highly probable” that the Sun on Sunday will launch in January, media commentator Stephen Glover predicted in the Independent today.
In his article on the rumoured new Sunday paper, Glover also explains why he thinks a Sun on Sunday makes better business sense than the News of the World, which “despite selling some 2.8 million copies a week, was barely breaking even”.
Glover argues that the Sun will need to recruit a fraction of the 160 News of the World journalists in order to “produce a seventh-day edition of the newspaper”.
If it sells at 50p (half the price of the News of the World, and cheaper than Sunday red-top rivals) it would probably be profitable with a circulation of a million. In the event, it may well sell many more copies than that.
Glover describes the axing of the News of the World and anticipated creation of the seven-day Sun as a “cynical charade” by the Murdochs.
In other words, far from being a sacrifice, shutting down the Sunday red-top and launching a seventh-day edition of The Sun carries a significant economic benefit. The Murdochs were able to represent themselves as acting decisively and almost altruistically – rather as a farmer might regretfully shoot a rabid dog that has been a cherished family pet. Now it turns out that the dog was old, unloved and expensive to keep, and there is a young puppy waiting in the wings which will be a much better proposition. The whole process has been a cynical charade.
He also argues the case against the launch of a red-top title from Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail. After an initial boost for the Mail on Sunday, sales have now slowed, according to August circulation figures, and Glover suggests “Associated would probably be wise to stay away”.