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Rupert Murdoch slashes value of The Sun newspaper to zero

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Rupert Murdoch and News UK’s chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, during the 2010 Cheltenham Festival (PA)
Rupert Murdoch and News UK’s chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, during the 2010 Cheltenham Festival (PA)

Rupert Murdoch has written down the value of The Sun newspaper to zero in response to a dramatic fall in print advertising revenues.

The right-wing tabloid has endured one of the worst years in its history, falling to a £197m loss. News Corp’s forecasts show that it does not expect The Sun to return to growth.

The Sun was the UK's most widely-read newspaper for more than four decades until the Daily Mail overtook it last year.

Mr Murdoch’s News Corp booked an £84m impairment charge for The Sun in accounts filed on Friday.

It recorded £80m in costs relating to the phone-hacking scandal, including £52m of fees and damages paid to civil claimants, up from £27m in 2019.

The company said it has settled, or is in the process of settling, most claims linked to phone-hacking and inappropriate payments to public officials but added that it could not estimate the cost of additional claims that have not yet reached court.

“It is not possible to estimate the liability for such additional claims given the information that is currently available to the company,” News Corp said.

The Sun has fallen dramatically from its mid-1990s heyday when circulation reached 5 million. It now sells fewer than 1 million copies a day, although circulation figures are no longer made public.

“Our priority is to sustain our market-leading position as the No 1 news brand in the UK by ensuring the proposition maintains its relevance for readers,” the company said.

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