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.
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