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Sunday Sport founder expected to relaunch paper

The founder of the Sunday Sport is believed to be buying back the title, which went into administration on 4 April.

David Sullivan, who is joint chairman of West Ham United, launched the Sunday Sport in 1986, following with the Daily Sport in 1991.

He sold the two titles in 2007, for £40 million and is now believed to be buying back the Sunday paper for less that £1 million.

A former Sunday Sport editor told Journalism.co.uk Sullivan’s team spent some of yesterday looking for new offices for the Manchester-based title, which is expected to relaunch on 8 May.

Administrators for the Sport titles, BDO, told Journalism.co.uk no deal has been completed and they are “still talking to interested parties”.

It is thought the Daily Sport is not part of the deal.

If no buyer is found for the daily, it will be the first national daily to shut since Today closed in 1995.

Sullivan bailed out Sports Media Group, which owned the titles, in 2009, with a £1.6 million loan, but did not offer more money to save the titles earlier this month when the papers shut with the loss of all 80 jobs, administrators said.

A relaunched Sport would see Sullivan look to win back readers, who have been welcomed by Richard Desmond’s title the Daily Star Sunday since the Sunday Sport’s closure.

A message on the paper’s masthead using the Sport’s typeface has been used by the Daily Star Sunday for the past two weeks.

National Union of Journalists negotiator Lawrence Shaw said he “would welcome any newspaper start up” but warned the sale could still leave freelancers owed large amounts of money.

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Daily Sport: ‘No one was expecting such a rapid closure’ says NUJ

April 5th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Newspapers

Staff at the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport, which ceased trading on Friday, were surprised by the papers’ swift closure, according to the National Union of Journalists.

NUJ negotiator Lawrence Shaw told Journalism.co.uk, referring to a recent job advert for a sports editor, the fact the company was still recruiting “signalled” it was unexpected.

“Everyone knew there was a debt and there have been problems but everyone was under the impression the worst was over,” Shaw said.

The editorial team had been through a “quite painful” restructure of subs and designers within the past year, he explained, but recent reports suggested a bounce back for owner Sport Media Group.

Shaw spent the day with staff in the Manchester offices yesterday. “It was strange to see page plans from Friday lying around like it was just frozen in time,” he said. “It is terribly sad to see the loss of the only national newspapers produced outside of London.”

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Media Guardian: Sport Media Group suspends trading

April 1st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

The publisher of the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport, Sport Media Group, has suspended trading on the stockmarket according to a report by the Media Guardian today.

The decision follows a “deterioration in trading”, the report adds.

SMG, which in 2009 was saved from going out of business by former proprietor and West Ham co-owner David Sullivan, said that the business has experienced an “insufficient recovery” since the poor weather in December with “consequential pressure on the company’s working capital position”.

Full report here…

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