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British Tabloid, ‘The Sun,’ is Totally Worthless as Rupert Murdoch slashes value to zero

Photograph: Mike Kemp/Corbis via Getty Images


British Tabloid, ‘The Sun,’ is Totally Worthless as Rupert Murdoch slashes value to zero


Rupert Murdoch has written down the value of the Sun newspapers to zero, after the Covid-19 epidemic contributed to a £200 million loss at his flagship tabloid properties.

The right-wing tabloid has had one of its worst years in its history, losing £197 million. According to News Corp’s projections, The Sun will not return to growth.

Murdoch purchased the publication in 1969 and relaunched it as a provocative tabloid filled with topless women and shady celebrity scoops. It had a five-million circulation at its height. However, it is in danger after years of declining readership and management unable to unleash a digital future.

After 42 years as the best-selling newspaper in the United Kingdom, it was surpassed by The Daily Mail last year. According to the FT, The Sun and its Sunday sister paper now have “zero carrying value” after an £84 million writedown in their recent accounts. It said that during the epidemic, revenue fell by a fifth, and that £80 million in legal expenses from a long-running phone-hacking scandal contributed to a pre-tax loss of £201 million ($284 million).

Its revenue is reported to have dropped by more than a fifth to £324 million in the fiscal year ending June 2020.

Pretax losses almost tripled from £67.8 million in 2019 to £201.4 million as a result of the volatile market circumstances and one-time costs linked to continuing legal proceedings over allegations of past phone hacking.

The firm said that it had resolved or is in the process of resolving the majority of lawsuits related to phone hacking and improper payments to public officials, but that it could not estimate the cost of further claims that have not yet reached court.

“The company is exposed to libel claims in the ordinary course of business and vigorously defends against claims received,” News Group said. “The company makes provision for the estimated costs to defend such claims when incurred and provides for any settlement costs when such an outcome is judged probable.”

The Sun’s circulation has dropped significantly since its peak in the mid-1990s, when it surpassed 5 million. Although circulation statistics are no longer made public, it currently sells less than one million copies each day.

The Daily Mail, on the other hand, has risen to first position in the UK newspaper market.

In the results released on Friday, Mr Murdoch’s News Corp recorded an £84 million impairment charge for The Sun.

The Sun, which celebrated its 50th anniversary two years ago, lost its position as the UK’s bestselling daily last year to the Daily Mail. It has been the country’s most popular daily since 1978, with famous front-page titles like Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster, Gotcha!, and It’s The Sun Wot Won It — the 1992 front page claiming credit for the Conservatives’ surprise general election win.

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