Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun on Sunday debuted on British newsstands this morning, in a move to fill the void left by the News of the World, Bloomberg News reported.
The Sun’s Sunday edition vowed to be “fearless, outspoken, mischievous and fun,” while adhering to high ethical standards, the Guardian reported. A phone-hacking scandal led to the News of the World’s closure last July after advertisers pulled support for the 168-year-old publication.
Murdoch’s media empire had also been plagued by allegations involving bribery of public officials, which led to the arrests of its own journalists in January.
Among the highlights of Sunday’s launch edition was a “world exclusive” account of “Britain’s Got Talent” judge Amanda Holden’s near-death experience after giving birth to a baby girl last month, according to the Daily Beast.
The paper also featured an article about pop star Adele’s anguish over hearing news of her grandmother being rushed to the hospital following a heart attack, a story about the U.K. government’s potential involvement in Iran and photos of soccer star David Beckham with his son.
In a move to make the Sunday paper more “family friendly” compared to its predecessor, the infamous “Page Three” girls found in The Sun’s weekday editions were absent in the debut edition, reported the Wall Street Journal, which is also owned by News Corp.
“I will be very happy at anything substantially over two million,” Murdoch tweeted on Feb. 24, regarding the paper’s targeted circulation figures.
The Sunday edition debuted at a 50 pence price and is aimed at recapturing readers who have migrated to competing publications such as the Sunday Mirror.
Some analysts, however, cautioned that not all News of the World readers might feel compelled to pick up the new Sunday paper, according to Bloomberg.
“The News of the World was a fairly unique product in the marketplace,” said Doug McCabe of the Enders Analysis research group. “The precise positioning of that product will just never be replicated and the other factor is there is just underlying decline in demand for Sunday newspapers.”