Victoria Newton, ex-editor of The Sun's Bizarre column
The Sun on Sunday is getting a "refresh" and has appointed Victoria Newton as its editor. Sun editor David Dinsmore retains overall control of the seven-day operation.
The name of the title, which was launched following the closure of the News of The World, is changing from The Sun Sunday to the The Sun on Sunday from this weekend.
"It's a refresh not a relaunch," Dinsmore told a press conference this morning, saying it is in "an improvement" in the product, rather than "starting again".
The Sun Sunday was launched in six days, seven months after the last edition of the News of the World was published. News UK chairman Rupert Murdoch made the launch announcement on 20 February 2012 and the first copy was in the shops on 26 February.
A "multimillion pound investment" was also announced this morning. Print is still central to The Sun's future, Dinsmore said, "but there have to be other parts of the jigsaw as well", explaining money will spent on products on different digital platforms.
The Sunday title is hiring 16 journalists and a new columnist. Frankie Boyle "makes way" for Tony Parsons, who has been writing for the Mirror since 1995.
Asked about The Sun's paywall, which went up on 1 August, Dinsmore said it was too early to reveal subscriber numbers.
He said that "great content" will attract paying readers, adding that he wants to move away from counting print sales to tracking "paying readers", to include those subscribing to the website and via the range of apps.
"We are developing deeper relationships with our commercial partners," Dinsmore said.
He explained that digital subscribers to The Times, also owned by News UK, are highly engaged, which is attractive to advertisers. People spend on average 48 or 49 minutes reading the iPad app, he said, a similar amount of time as spent reading the Times newspaper. And knowing more personal details about subscribers helps the advertising proposition too.
New editor Newton, who began her career on The Express before joining The Sun's showbiz team, later becoming Los Angeles correspondent and most recently editing Bizarre, was asked how digital is affecting what is published in the print edition.
She explained that editors are aware that people will have read a news story elsewhere before the morning newspaper is published and that they "always move a story on".
Dinsmore added that the move to a new central London newsroom in the building dubbed the Baby Shard, will help the workflow. "The future will be much more integrated," he said.
Asked about the typical Sun reader, Dinsmore explained that the average age of a print reader is 42 or 43. He said the average age of digital subscribers is lower.
He illustrated this by explaining that the first paying subscriber to the digital suite of products, which includes the Goals+ app, was "Barry from Stevenage", who is described as a typical Sun digital reader in that he is a hard-working 35-year-old.
Dinsmore said the big challenge in attracting people to pay the £2-a-week fee for digital access is getting the message across. Even ultra loyal readers are going to take a long time to learn about it, he said, adding that awareness very much relies on word of mouth.