Murdoch set to launch his new Sunday newspaper in April

'The Sun on Sunday' will hit newsstands less than 10 months after 'News of the World' closed

Pictures of the first wedding anniversary celebrations of William and Kate and action from the likely Premier League title decider between Manchester City and Manchester United are likely to feature in the launch edition of a Sunday version of The Sun newspaper.

News International seems set on 29 April as the day when it will unveil the much-anticipated new title, less than 10 months after the closure of the News of the World in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

The publisher has been anxious to return to the Sunday market but feared a critical backlash after its senior figures, including News Corporation's chairman and chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, and his son, James, appeared before MPs a conducting inquiries into hacking. But as the replacement paper, likely to be called The Sun on Sunday, has been delayed, News International's £600m printing plant in Hertfordshire has been shorn of a print run of nearly three million copies a week.

Since the closure of the News of the World, a cluster of senior journalists from the defunct paper have been moved to The Sun where they are regarded as the core staff for a future Sunday edition, expected to be edited by Victoria Newton, the former deputy editor of the NOTW.

A launch on 29 April offers numerous commercial advantages to a paper that is likely to be heavily marketed on its sports coverage. After the Manchester derby, likely to be the most important game of the season and heavily-promoted by its media ally BSkyB, The Sun on Sunday could look forward to a summer of sport including the Euro 2012 football championships and the London Olympics. The new series of Britain's Got Talent, which begins in April, offers a good platform for pre-launch advertising on ITV.

Although News International – which would not comment on the speculation – is suffering damage to its corporate reputation on an almost daily basis as Lord Justice Leveson hears evidence in his inquiry into media ethics, the hearings are due to end on 19 April.

The Sun's advertising department depends heavily on the retail sector, which is normally reluctant to advertise in the Sunday press except on bank holidays. Spring brings an upturn in advertising spend and the May bank holiday would give the new paper a lucrative second week. Paul Thomas, a media consultant, said: "If I was going to do it, spring is when I would do it."

Britain drops to 28th in 'press freedom index'

Press freedom has greatly diminished this year because of the impact of "archaic" libel laws, the policing of the London riots and the Leveson inquiry, a report found yesterday.

The Reporters Without Borders organisation downgraded the UK to 28th place in its annual Press Freedom Index. It attacked the Leveson hearings for "discussing regulations that should not even be considered", expressed concern about police access to personal data after the riots, and criticised "surreal" libel legislation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'