Friday, September 07, 2007

London's Sun feels heat from free papers

The Sun, a London tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, has slashed its cover price and hired more than 100 street hawkers in order to keep circulation from decreasing in the face of a growing number of free dailies, including one owned by Murdoch, TheLondonPaper. Murdoch acknowledged in 2005 that The Sun’s circulation, now at about 3 million, had suffered at the hands of London's Metro, one of the first free dailies in the city, and since then the commuter paper has continued to increase its distribution. “Murdoch is looking around at the intensified competition, and as the market leader he is taking action first to defend his leadership,” Derek Terrington, an analyst for Blue Oak Capital, a brokerage in London, tells MediaLife.