News of the World closure: A boost for Richard Desmond papers?

By Jennifer Lipman, July 8, 2011
Richard Desmond

Richard Desmond

The print runs of the Sunday editions of papers owned by media mogul Richard Desmond are expected to be increased this week as the last ever News of the World is published.

It was announced on Thursday that the News of the World would shut following allegations of phone hacking and corruption.

The paper, which was first printed in 1843, two years after the launch of the Jewish Chronicle, was the bestselling Sunday paper in Britain.

There is speculation that its sister paper the Sun will be expanded to a seven day run, but that has not been confirmed by the owner News International.

Its closest rivals were the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror, but the closure could also represent a boost to Mr Desmond's Northern & Shell, the publisher of both the Sunday Express and the Daily Star Sunday.

Nicholas Grant, from the analysts Mediatrack, told Sky News: "Initially there's going to be a scramble for readership among the other papers".

The News of the World was edited for a year by Wendy Henry, the daughter of a Jewish trader market trader. Ms Henry, who was one of the first female editors on Fleet Street, took charge of the paper in 1987 but moved the following year to the Sunday People.

When she was ousted from the News of the World in September 1988, the JC noted that she had overseen "circulation levels…hitting record levels". But the report continued: "The large number of retractions and apologies, together with the emphasis on stories which were outlandish rather than merely outrageous, may have prompted Wendy's removal".

Last updated: 3:01pm, July 8 2011