Sun On Sunday 'Insider' Claims New Tabloid Beset With In-Fighting Before Launch
A Twitter account claiming to be an "insider" at News International has described a "desperate and repugnant" atmosphere in the newsroom of the Sun on Sunday, which launches this weekend.
Rupert Murdoch's new and long-mooted Sunday tabloid, which was only confirmed over the weekend, will have a 50p promo price in an attempt to launch itself into the market.
The first television ad for the Sunday tabloid will be launched on Tuesday night during the Brit awards.
However if - and it is still a big if - the insider account is to be believed, all is not well inside News International's Thomas More Square HQ.
The account, which is anonymous and unconfirmed, claims to be that of a former News of the World employee "silently simmering at The Sun".
Among the problems at the new tabloid alleged by the account include a frantic search for new advertisers other than Sky after Tesco pulled out of the first edition, and attempts to pull key columnists away from the Daily Mail or Mail on Sunday.
In addition the @SundayInsider account says the long-term plans of the paper are seen as "vague" inside the company, and that few employees see it lasting beyond the summer.
It adds that the paper is planning critical articles about News International critics Labour MP Tom Watson and former deputy prime minister John Prescott.
"Even at the dummy stage there wasn't a good vibe. Mohan wont say it out loud (esp not to Rupes) but he's sh***ing himself," one Tweet read.
It also admits that senior editors aren't happy with the "dummys", or early previews, and that the newsroom has a "chilling" atmosphere, in an echo of education secretary Michael Gove's comments today that the Leveson media inquiry was having a similar effect on the freedom of the press.
Meanwhile News International and News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is still in the UK to oversea the launch - and to give a boost to the odd politician while he's at it.
The key tweets from the mysterious and unconfirmed account include: