Rupert Murdoch oversees print run of The Sun’s first Sunday edition

GlobalPost

The new Sunday edition of British paper The Sun has gone on sale with its owner, media magnate Rupert Murdoch, visiting print works in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, to oversee production of the first edition.

The first edition of the Sunday Sun hit news stands across Britain with a pledge of "trust" and "decency," the Press Association wrote.

The launch of the paper, Reuters wrote, was a bid to "grab back the huge audience his News Corp lost when it closed the best-selling News of the World over a phone-hacking scandal."

News International, the British arm of News Corp., closed the Sunday-only "News" after disclosures it intercepted the voicemails of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, deleting some, as well as those of celebrities and even high-level politicians.

The new Sunday edition of his Sun tabloid is "filled with gossip, girls and celebrities," much like its weekly sister, which was also the subject of speculation that it would be shuttered amid a bribery scandal.

However, Reuters wrote: "In keeping with the family-friendly approach the paper takes on Saturdays, the daily's bare-breasted "Page 3 girl" was replaced by a singer in a slightly more modest pose."

There was also less so-called "kiss-and-tell" content, usually exposing the sexual infidelities of married celebrities and a staple of News of the World.

Murdoch reportedly wants to make the paper more "female-friendly," and the main front-page story told of a British TV presenter's birthing difficulties, under the headline, "My heart stopped for 40 seconds."

Saturday's Sun — under investigation over allegations it bribed public officials to get stories — heralded the new paper's arrival with the headline "the Sun will come out tomorrow," and described the new title as a "brilliant new era for The Sun," according to the BBC

The paper, edited by Dominic Mohan, said it would remain "fearless, outspoken, mischievous and fun," the Guardian reported, and claimed that the Sun had been a "tremendous force for good", adding:

"It is worth reminding our readers, and detractors, of that as we publish our historic first Sunday edition during what is a challenging period. News International closed our sister paper the News of the World over the phone-hacking scandal.

"Since then some of our own journalists have been arrested, though not charged, over allegations of payments to public officials for stories. We believe those individuals are innocent until proven guilty. It has been a sobering experience for our entire industry."

Murdoch, who turns 81 in two weeks, has according to The New York Times "taken on-the-spot command of the project."

He flew to London from New York 10 days ago and, the Guardian wrote, personally supervised the final stages of production on the new title, finally watching as more than three million copies were run off the printing presses overnight Saturday.

Murdoch, who took over the Sun title in 1969, has described the franchise as "part of me."

However, the Times pointed out, the nine recent arrests at The Sun over accusations that staff members bribed public officials, including police officers and military personnel, for information have landed Murdoch with considerable challenges.

The paper wrote that: "If any of those questioned by the police are charged and convicted, News Corp. could confront heightened scrutiny in the United States under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes bribery of foreign officials by American companies and their overseas subsidiaries a criminal offense."

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