Sell me the Sun Rupert says Richard Desmond

Or that’s what Daily Express and Daily Star owner Richard Desmond seemed to be saying to the BBC’s Nick Cosgrove on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning.

Desmond could have just been trying to deflect attention from the $175m losses racked up by his OK! magazine in the US since it launched there in 2005. In which case he partly succeeded.

It’s highly unlikely that News Corporation’s Rupert Murdoch would contemplate selling the Sun, his best-selling UK tabloid and the foundation of his fortune.

The Sun still makes a lot of money, about £40m a year, and remains a slick act – unlike its increasingly tacky Sunday stablemate the News of the World.

Desmond, comfortably the most controversial Fleet Street proprietor since Robert Maxwell, is good at producing the numbers on his own tabloid the Daily Star. But his papers are run on a shoestring and such policies would surely damage even the soaraway Sun.

As for celebrity mag OK! it’s undoubtedly a big title in terms of sales on both sides of the Atlantic and, as advertising recovers, its stupendous losses might finally disappear, for a few years at least.

And ‘Dirty Dickie’ still has his numerous porn TV channels in the UK to fall back on if times get tough again.

You May Also Like

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.