Murdoch seeks new start with tamer Sunday tabloid

Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:31pm EST
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By Kate Holton and Georgina Prodhan

LONDON (Reuters) - The new Sunday edition of Rupert Murdoch's British Sun tabloid, to be launched with a huge advertising campaign and a print run of around 3 million this week, is expected to be more family-friendly and less salacious than its predecessor, The News of the World.

Amid the fall-out of a phone-hacking scandal that triggered the arrest of a string of Sun journalists, industry insiders believe The Sun on Sunday, whose launch is being personally led by Murdoch himself, looks likely to be heavier on fashion and football and lighter on the sex and scandal for which the News of the World was renowned.

Before it was ignominiously closed down last year The News of the World, founded in 1843, wallowed in muck-raking sensationalism designed to amuse and shock in equal measure.

Its fondness for page one headlines packed with puns and sexual innuendo was legendary.

A couple of its more memorable headlines included "Andrew and the Sex Slave Beast" and "My Big Fat Gypsy Divorce at Just 19."

In contrast, The Sun typically leads on more mainstream news stories with irreverent front-page headlines such as "Bin Bagged" when Osama bin Laden was killed.

David Mulrenan, head of UK press at media buyer ZenithOptimedia, told Reuters the new Sun on Sunday was likely to be a much tamer beast than its defunct predecessor.

"It's going to be a lot less salacious than the News of the World, and probably open up a lot more of the family market," he said.   Continued...

Copies of The Sun newspaper are displayed at a kiosk in London February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly