Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Saturday 12 June 2021

The Sun Is Worthless

Today’s front page lead in the Super Soaraway Currant Bun tells you all you need to know about the fall from greatness of this once massively successful, profitable and indeed feared newspaper. “Don’t Let Covid Beat England … SHOCK & ROAR … Freedom day ‘delayed 4 weeks’ … Calls for fans to make more noise” it tells its remaining readers.

A confused front page, a non-exclusive ...

Under the by-line of the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, who would not be able to identify journalism if it jumped up in front of him and kicked him in the undercarriage, is a story claimed as an “Exclusive”, but which was trailed by the Murdoch Times yesterday, and is also the lead item in both the Mail and Telegraph this morning.

The Sun’s so-called journalism nowadays relies on posh creeps like Master Cole pretending that they understand ordinary working people. Hence his reliance on “footie” instead of “football”, and talking about going down the pub, while he and his pals frequent upmarket cocktail dispensaries. This might wash if the paper made money. But it doesn’t.

... which was in yesterday's Times ...

News Corp Holdings UK and Ireland, which oversees News UK, which oversees News Group Newspapers, has posted its annual Report and financial statements for the year ending last June. And the news is particularly grim for the Sun, which lost an eye-watering £201 million for the year. As the Guardian noted, “It was not able to stem losses despite cutting sales and marketing costs by 40%, and cutting staff numbers from 605 to 546”.

So where’s the money going? "More than 80% of the Sun’s losses, about £164m, were one-off charges mostly related to phone hacking. They included £52m in fees and damages paid to civil claimants, double the £26m paid out in 2019, and a £26m in costs accounted for as ‘UK newspaper matters’”. Phone hacking was cheap. It staved off libel claims by enabling stories to be stood up. But down the road has come the reckoning.

... and today is in both the Telegraph ...

The Murdoch mafiosi don’t want any of those phone hacking claims to come to court; they pay upfront to get rid of claimants; the bills mount up. The Guardian also notes that “The Sun paid a substantial sum on Thursday to settle a phone-hacking claim brought by the former Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes, who claimed reporters wanting to out his sexuality had targeted him illegally”. There will be more. And the conclusion?

In the kind of news that Master Cole and his equally talentless colleagues will not be reporting, “[News Group Newspapers] wrote down [the Sun and Sun on Sunday’s] value to zero. The £84m non-cash ‘impairment of publishing rights’ essentially means the publisher does not believe the titles will return to positive growth”. One of old Fleet Street’s fattest cash cows has, in the Boston Consulting Group vernacular, become a mere dog.

... and the Mail

The Sun is no longer worth even publishing. Its continuing presence on news stands serves only as clickbait for other Murdoch group enterprises, and as a right-wing propaganda sheet. Many of those 546 staff are not receiving the obscenely inflated remuneration enjoyed by those at the top. But all are now candidates for the dole queue.

And one more question enters here: if the Sun is now worthless, what about the rest of old Fleet Street? After all, so many of them indulged in the illegal information gathering that has returned to bite the Murdochs where it really hurts - in their wallets. This may not signal the end of our free and fearless press. But you can see it from there.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Anonymous said...

The Murdoch Scum and the Murdoch Slimes are headed for the dustbin of history. As are the Rothermere Heils.

And there'll be huge cheers when the pedlars of their neofascist filth, racism, paranoia and xenophobia shuffle into the dole queue. They truly are scum, the very dregs of a society in headlong disintegration.

The sooner they and their corrupt type vanish from the face of the Earth the better for humanity.

Mr Larrington said...

The very notion that Master Cole might have to go out and look for a real job fills this Unit with glee.

BTW, Tim, have you seen the latest drivel from Julia Tory-Sewer vis-à-vis Northern Ireland?

Anonymous said...

Considering the conduct of the UK press during the past few years - the Brexit cheerleading & lies, the Corona denial, trying to stir up shit every day with a new Orwellian culture war figure (Do we hate Prince Harry still?) - looks awfully like they'll never be able to claw back their audience and get younger people buying papers. Add in the Internet and most of the British press is pretty much done.

Guess this is why billionaire hobgoblins are pouring money in Fox News-type networks. Again, not gonna work.

Arnold said...

"Boris Johnson demands EU 'gets it into their heads' that Northern Ireland is part of the UK". But it isn't. Not since Bozo agreed to an oven ready border inthe Irish Sea.

Anonymous said...

As a frequent viewer of ABC’s Mediawatch, it appears that Murdoch is having similar issues Down Under with his Australian stable.

In past, his major ownership was primarily in newspapers. This included the main tabloids of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Melbourne’s Herald-Sun, Adelaide’s Advertiser, Brisbane’s Courier-Mail and Darwin’s NT News. This was together with the national Australian newspaper and some local regional dailies and weeklies. However, due to the pandemic, he had to shut down 60 local papers, many of which haven’t survived and some re-started as independent publications. Many of the newspapers are quite thin and have very low readership.

His online news outlet news.com.au is losing readership to the Daily Mail Australia. Like with his planned purchase of the rest of Sky, whom he lost to Comcast, he lost the scooping up of bankrupt Network 10 to CBS which was a major blow as he tried to arrange the media ownership laws changed to allow him to purchase the said network.

The Australian version of Fox, Sky News Australia while it does produce hot air with its “stars” of Peta Credlin, Andrew Bolt, Paul Murray and Rowan Dean. They rarely get much in way of viewers, averaging around 25 000. Plus, one of the biggest gorillas of the Murdoch stable, Alan Jones has retired and one of the old assets that Murdoch used to own a stake in, 2GB is now owned by rival Nine.

Other major assets are losing out to competitors 7West and Nine as well as the public broadcaster ABC. His son Lachlan is just holding to series of music stations in the Sydney area. It is simply not looking good.