Business Irish

Monday 22 January 2018

Mixed reviews for Rupert Murdoch’s new Sun on Sunday

Tom Lawrence

THE first Sunday edition of The Sun received a mixed reception from industry experts with many highlighting the new title's "softer" news approach and its similarity to the daily version of the paper.

A number of reviewers said the title's maiden offering, which sold around three million copies, was far less-controversial than its predecessor, the defunct News of The World.

Guardian media commentator Roy Greenslade said: "The Sun on Sunday was the Sun - but not the Sun as we know it.

"In order to avoid giving offence and therefore hint at being a reincarnation of its deceased ugly sister, it appeared unusually bland."

The former Daily Mirror editor said the paper was "technically excellent".

He added: "Overall this was less of a paper and more of a magazine.

"Not only were there no investigations, there were few revelations of any kind, and no hint of controversies or even surprises."

"The material was deliberately, even self-consciously soft focus."

The big emphasis on sport - the paper dedicated 45 of its 120 pages on the subject - was also highlighted by reviewers.

The Huffington Post picked up on what it described as the "soft launch" of Rupert Murdoch's new paper.

A commentary on the UK website said: "The paper feels very, very similar to the sort of output it produces every other day of the week.

"It's a paper which feels quite serious, far less bright, breezy and brash as the News of the World in its heyday."

Ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie described the first edition as "a triumph", while Lord Oakeshott, reviewing the paper for Sky News, added: "It's a very professional production."

The Independent's writer and commentator John Walsh branded the Sunday edition of The Sun as "exactly the same as the daily, only less so.

"It's the weekly Sun minus about 15pc of its style," he said.

Walsh said the new title's exclusives "lacked the wow factor" and described the front page story on Amanda Holden's birth complications as "dull".

Meanwhile, the paper's media columnist Stephen Glover said the Sunday Sun was more "well-behaved" than the defunct News of the World and News International's daily UK red top.

"It looks like The Sun, albeit with a different cast of columnists from the Monday to Saturday version, and even more football coverage," he added.

"For another, it doesn't have any of the filthy stories associated with the News of the World. You wouldn't feel slightly grubby to be caught reading this, though you might be a bit bored."

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