The Sun moots TV station launch to broaden appeal

News Group Newspapers (NGN) is understood to be looking at widening the appeal of its tabloid brand with the launch of Sun TV.

Mike Anderson, managing director of NGN, which publishes both The Sun and News of the World, is thought to have been developing the launch for several months, in an attempt to increase The Sun’s presence across a range of multimedia platforms. The Sun is already available online and via mobile phones.

Anderson recently appointed former Yahoo! vice president of European sales Mark Chippendale to the new role of media director at NGN.

Chippendale, who spent 14 years at BSkyB, will start his job in August and is to oversee sales across every media platform which carries The Sun or News of the World branding. It is hoped that new intiatives such as Sun TV, and studies of how news is consumed online and via mobile phones, will create points of access for new consumers and reverse the decline in revenue and readership of NGN’s newspapers.

A press buyer says: “The most important thing for media owners like NGN to do is to follow their audience who, in this case, have a young profile and are increasingly using internet and television, so Sun TV would make sense.

“The benefit of newspapers running their own branded news television stations is they will carry views whereas broadcasters like the BBC don’t. I imagine Sun TV would be more entertainment based and would be a good driver of traffic towards the rest of News International’s portfolio, such as MySpace.”

A similar project has just been launched at Times Online, the website of The Times and The Sunday Times. It recently unveiled an online TV and video service.

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