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LONDON – Rupert Murdoch has announced plans to launch the Sun on Sunday on Feb. 26, confounding critics who believed that the News’s International’s newspaper operation had become a fatally tainted brand.
Staff were told of the decision on Sunday night by News International chief executive Tom Mockridge, who said News Corporation was determined to invest in its newspapers – as well as to continue to root out wrongdoing.
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“The commitment of News Corporation to invest in a new edition is the strongest possible message of support we could wish for. We will have to act quickly over the following days,” Mockridge said in an email to the staff, according to The Guardian newspaper.
“As you know, News Corporation has made clear its determination to sort what has gone wrong in the past and we are fundamentally changing how we operate as a business.”
Details of who will edit and staff the new title have yet to be revealed, but there is a clear expectation that some staff who lost their jobs o the News of The World will be invited back to work on the new title.
Murdoch, who travelled to London last week to reassure staff on his best-selling daily tabloid that he would support the paper – which has become caught up in a police-bribery investigation – has now told them he will personally supervise the launch of the new Sunday title next week.
Just over seven months ago Murdoch announced the shock decision to shutter The News of The World after advertisers deserted it in the wake of the Milly Dowler phone-hacking scandal.
Many journalists at the Sunday feared that The Sun was facing the same fate after ten former and current staff have been arrested in the recent police investigation into bribery allegations.
Staff have felt particularly betrayed by the fact that much of the information leading to the arrests was handed to police by News Corp.’s own internal investigations division the Management Standards Committee, which some staff felt had effectively ratted on its own employees.
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