Friday, 10 February 2012

Sunday Relaunch Ripe for Murdoch as Trinity Fails

THE LATEST round of redundancies at Trinity Mirror seems an incredibly short sighted tactic.
What is most concerning, is the impact this will have on the Sunday market.
With the News of the World out of the game, the pitch was clear for Trinity to mop up its 2.7 million buyers.
With respect to Trinity, the Sunday Mirror and People were extremely poor copies of the NoW.
So to capture our readership, it needed to invest heavily in their products to raise their game.
Instead they have chosen to cut 75 jobs – or 18.75% of its workforce.
The failure to seize the moment has caused almost a million buyers to vanish from the Sunday market without trace.
I suspect most of these are the ‘second paper readers’.
The NoW always had a huge ‘AB’ readership. For much of its history, more than the Times and the Telegraph combined.
This was because many of the professional classes often picked up their Sunday broadsheet and slipped a copy of the NoW inside, for the gossip and scandal.
These readers have tried the Sunday Mirror or the People as an alternative. Then after a few weeks, dumped them as poor imitations.
We don’t need a sophisticated readership survey to tell us that. We all have friends in the City/law/medicine/arts. And we have all heard it from them countless times.
Millions of them are sorely missing the News of the World. It has left a huge gap on Sundays. And an equally big gap on Mondays, when the rest of the press, broadsheets et al, followed up our sensational stories.
For years, the News of the World blazed a trail and the rest of Fleet Street followed in our wake.
I know I’m expressing a kind of ‘love that dare not speak its name’. No journalist or politician feels comfortable, willing or able to mention the huge hole the closure of the News of the World has left.
But ordinary folk in the real world do.
And it’s those people who will come flocking back when a credible alternative to the News of the World is created. They haven’t chosen to buy something else instead and have to be prised away. They are just silently waiting for the emergence of a quality, red-top, Sunday tabloid.
News International and before it, the Bells and the Carrs, had a glorious 167 years at the top of this market before crashing spectacularly.
Trinity had a go and now seems to have given up.
It now falls back to Rupert Murdoch to move in and reclaim the ground by launching a fresh, ring-fenced Sunday tabloid.
As an insurance, it should be totally independent of all his other London titles to protect the fledgling infant from any unforeseen fall-out from future revelations concerning its siblings.
And the time for that to happen is now.
The News of the World readers loved nothing more than its bold and controversial nature.
And there would be nothing more bold or more controversial than the launch of a fresh Murdoch tabloid right in the eye of the storm.

* All information on plans for a Sunday tabloid launch will be received in confidence at


  1. Anonymous10 February 2012 16:58

    How does this square with your earlier blog when you speculated the tabloid was a terminally-ill phenomenon? Are you trying to coax Rupert Murdoch to splurge his cash on a dead fish?

    1. Neville Thurlbeck10 February 2012 17:09

      What I said was, "And the Sun on Sunday now seems a distant hope." I still think that's the case. It would be too risky at the moment to open a newspaper linked to the Sun and tapping into all its resources. My point in this posting is that a new title would have to be totally ring-fenced. And since I posted it, I have had several emails saying that this option has been seriously discussed.

    2. Anonymous10 February 2012 17:30

      Brand loyalty is very hard to achieve and even harder to re-achieve. On the topic of the demise of the News of the World I am reminded of Joseph-Louis Lagrange's comment on the execution of Lavoisier: "Only a minute to cut off that head, and a hundred years may not give us another."

    3. Neville Thurlbeck10 February 2012 17:37

      Nicely put. But the market is still there, albeit diminished. If there was a rival to the NoW which could take over, I would say it would have been fatally diminished. But there isn't and there is everything to play for.

    4. Reply
  2. Jane Griffiths11 February 2012 21:13

    so what's going to happen? The Sun could even be closed as well, with recent developments?

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