With the New of the World final issue now printed, going out with a bang with sales of 4 million, attention turns to an expected launch of the Sun on Sunday, which is expected to replace its axed sister tabloid sometime in the near future.
Chatter about a possible Sun on Sunday launch started on Twitter and elsewhere online almost as soon as it was dramatically announced on Thursday that the News of the World was to be closed.
Some of that talk contained mutterings that the closure was nothing more than a PR stunt, Lord Prescott (who was allegedly hacked) called it "a management stunt"; that News International would find it hard to convert readers; and that the it would struggle to replicate the success of its former tabloid big hitter: the 2.6 million selling, scandal breaking, powerhouse that was the News of the World.
I'm not sure any of that is true. What I am convinced is true is that the Sun on Sunday, if that is what it is to be called, will be a success despite the hacking scandal and the fallout surrounding the BSkyB deal. What is yet to be determined is when the paper launches. News International needs to wait a decent amount of time to see how bad the fallout is, but it should not wait too long.
Rebakah Brooks in her farewell speech to staff called the News of the World brand toxic. She was right. The brand had become contaminated and the decision to bite the bullet as News International has done is a smart one. The launch of a new paper is a chance to draw a line underneath the bad practices of the past and re-establish tabloid newspaper journalism at its best.
There has been some speculation online suggesting that News International had already planned to ditch the News of World and turn the Sun into a seven day operation. From what I've heard that isn't true, the seven day plan was a back-end cost saving idea and nothing more.
What has become apparent in the days since the decision to close the News of the World was made is that the toxicity associated with it, and the hacking activity that some former staff were involved in, has not spread to the Sun or to other News International-owned brands namely The Times and The Sunday Times.
Yes there has been an outcry against News International and News Corporation, but that doesn't appear to be directed at the individual newspaper brands. Particularly the Sun, the tabloid sister title fo the News of the World.
What does that mean? To me that clearly it suggests that the public remains accepting of the Sun (of tabloids in general), doesn't overly associate it with what happened at the News of the World, and I can see no reason at all why it would not warm to a new Sunday newspaper carrying a name they are very familiar with.
Some have said it is difficult to get the public to switch their brand of Sunday newspaper. It might be, but in this instance we will see the arrival of a new and yet familiar face.
What about the advertisers? It was they, pressured by blanket mainstream media coverage, social media and consumers, who made the wise decision to pull out of the News of the World sparking off a chain reaction that led to the paper closing.
On Friday Brand Republic broke the story that Renault was reviewing its advertising plans pending the outcome of investigations into The News of the World. The French car firm said it had no immediate plans to advertise in any News International titles. That sounds quite serious, but Renault and other advertisers who pulled out of the News of the World will be back and quite quickly.
It was telling that on Wednesday when it was reported that Ford was pulling its advertising along with others it was reported to have simply switched it to the Sun.
For marketers the launch of the Sun on Sunday represents an excellent opportunity. News International will dig deep into its promotional pockets to back the launch. This will greatly benefit advertisers. News International will offer advertisers deals, with cross promotions from the weekday title, and it will do the same for readers. The Sun's 2.7 million readers will be enticed to adopt the Sun on Sunday with special offers and many will take them up.
That is great for a launch and even greater for a launch of a product that readers don't need explained to them. They know the Sun. Although in tone, I think, we will see the appearance of a slight different Sunday newspaper and one that is more female friendly, as was the News of the World.
I would be surprised if the Sun on Sunday does not manage to attract a circulation of around two million readers. That is well within its reach. Yes it might lose some old News of the World readers, but it can afford to do so and it might also gain as well.
More importantly the launch of the Sun on Sunday will be an event and product that advertisers will not want to miss out on not least because it will very possibly be the last of its kind. The last major newspaper launch that any of us will likely see as the paper will launch on the very cusp of a media world in transition.
In recent months we have seen digital media and print cross paths, heading in different directions, marking the change in ascendancy from print to digital. This has been marked by magazines closing print editions and going digital only and the Guardian declaring digital comes first and closing its international print edition. Ironically, the News of the World closed in the week that the Huffington Post launched in the UK perhaps representative of the passing of a virtual baton.
However, the launch of the Sun on Sunday will be more than a last hurrah. It will be a huge opportunity for News International to rethink how it produces a newspaper online.
I would also put money on the paywall that the News of the World shrunk behind in October 2010 will not make an appearance on the new paper's website. The Sun on Sunday has to be a very digital newspaper, one that engages with social media and one that is free and open. It could also be one that looks to the future and attracts a new younger readership online.
Of course, what the closure of the News of the World and the launch of the Sun on Sunday doesn't do is address the wider question of Rebekah Brooks. Many are out, rightly or wrongly, for her blood. I don't if she knew about phone hacking and nor do those calling for her to go, including Ed Miliband. Will she go or will she survive? I hope along with many others that this question will be answered by the police investigation.
While her guilt or lack of it remains unclear, I think what is more than clear is that the public do not view this story in quite the same way as the political, media and digital classes. There is rightly widespread public anger linked to the Milly Dowler story and other hacking revelations. However, I think the public will move long before we do and they will be the ones who in large numbers will be buying this new tabloid newspaper and I am pretty sure they will do it in large numbers.
That is good news for the staff who worked at the News of the World, none of whom had anything to do with the hacking scandal, and good news for the newspaper market.
Follow Gordon MacMillan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gordonmacmillan