The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times

Infobox Newspaper
name = The Sunday Times

caption =
type = Weekly newspaper
format = Broadsheet
price = £2.00 £1.90 (Scotland) 2.50 (Rep of Ireland)
foundation = 1864
owners = News International
political = Centre-right
headquarters = Wapping,
editor = John Witherow
website = []
circulation = 1,202,235 cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Standard Certificate of Circulation - The Sunday Times
work =
publisher = ABC Ltd.
date = 1 May 2008
url =
format = PDF
accessdate = 2008-05-24

"The Sunday Times" is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper distributed in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The South African variant is also South Africa's best-selling newspaper. It is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International, which is in turn owned by News Corporation. Times Newspapers also owns "The Times", but the two papers were founded independently and only came under common ownership in 1966. Rupert Murdoch's News International acquired the papers in 1981. Each year the Sunday Times publishes a Rich List - which tends to boost sales.

While its sister paper, "The Times", holds a substantially smaller circulation than the largest-circulation UK quality daily, "The Daily Telegraph", "The Sunday Times" occupies a dominant position in the quality Sunday market; its 1.3m circulation equals "The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer "and "The Independent on Sunday" combined. It maintains the larger broadsheet format and has said that it will continue to do so.

Its price rise to £2 from £1.80 in September 2006, the second price rise in two years, has started to cause a slight month-on-month and year-on-year decline in its readership. This has been following a general decline in readership of all Sunday newspapers. To combat this rivals such as "The Independent on Sunday" relaunched in June 2007 with a more concise approach to its content and sections, while the "The Observer" has relaunched in a berliner format with colour throughout all sections.

The launch of new News International printers in Summer 2008 will allow for full colour throughout all pages in the paper.


The paper was launched as "The New Observer" in 1821, choosing a name similar to the existing Observer newspaper although the two newspapers were unrelated. It was renamed "The Independent Observer" and then in 1822 "The Sunday Times", again without any relationship between itself and The Times. [,,1674998,00.html]

Rachel Beer acquired the paper in 1893, and Alfred Harmsworth acquired it in 1908. By 1959 it was part of the Kemsley group of newspapers, which was acquired in that year by Lord Thomson. In 1966 Thomson also acquired "The Times" and formed Times Newspapers Ltd to publish the two papers.

Rupert Murdoch's News International acquired the "Times" titles in 1981, but the Conservative government never referred the purchase to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, mainly because the previous owners, The Thomson Corporation, had threatened to close the papers down if they were not taken over by someone else within an allotted time, and it was feared that any legal delay to Murdoch's takeover might lead to the two titles' demise. This was despite the fact that the takeover gave Murdoch the control of four national newspapers; "The Times", "The Sunday Times", "The Sun" and the "News of the World". News Corp also owns the Fox Network. News International is the majority shareholder of BSkyB and James Murdoch is CEO.

Control by News Corporation ended the editorial reign of Harold Evans, bringing to a close a period in the paper's history when it was a leading campaigning, investigative and liberal-leaning newspaper. Under Andrew Neil's editorship in the 1980s and early 1990s, "The Sunday Times" took a strongly Thatcherite and Wienerite slant, and became particularly strongly associated with the view that anti-commercialism among those who traditionally voted for the Conservative Party had actually worked alongside traditional socialism in undermining the UK's economic competitiveness. In this area it strongly opposed the traditional conservatism expounded by Peregrine Worsthorne at the rival "Sunday Telegraph".

Major stories

It published the faked Hitler Diaries (1983), believing them to be genuine. Other notable stories include:
*The thalidomide scandal in the 1960s.
*The paper sponsored Francis Chichester's single-handed circumnavigation of the world under sail in 1966–1967, and the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968–1969, both of which were sensational events in the UK.
*Israeli Nuclear Weapons—using information from Mordechai Vanunu, "The Sunday Times" in 1986 published information that said that Israel had manufactured more than 100 nuclear warheads.
*Uncaring Thatcher—"The Sunday Times" ran a story claiming that Queen Elizabeth II was upset with the style of Margaret Thatcher's leadership. This was notable as the monarch generally maintains a strictly impartial role in UK politics.
*The "cash-for-questions" investigation under John Major's government.
*On 12 July 1987 "The Sunday Times" began serialisation of the book "Spycatcher", the memoirs of an MI5 agent, which had been banned in the UK. The paper successfully challenged subsequent legal action by the UK government, winning its case at the European Court of Human Rights in 1991. [ [ THE SUNDAY TIMES v. THE UNITED KINGDOM (No. 2) - 13166/87 [1991 ECHR 50 (26 November 1991) ] ] "The Sunday Times" publishes The Sunday Times Rich List, an annual survey of the wealthiest people in Britain and Ireland, equivalent to the Forbes 400 list in the USA. The paper also publishes an annual league table of British universities and a similar one for Irish universities. It also publishes the "Sunday Times Bestseller List" of bestselling books in Britain.

Irish Edition

During the 1990s the paper began to develop a separate version for the Republic of Ireland. A Dublin office was opened in 1993, run by Alan Ruddock and John Burns. Originally the Irish edition extended to little more than a small number of news stories, some columnists such as Eoghan Harris, and the inclusion of Irish cinema listings and schedules for RTÉ One and RTÉ Two in the "Culture" section of the paper; but by 2005, a separate printing plant, journalistic offices, and many Irish journalists including Liam Fay, Richard Oakley, Mark Tighe and Colin Coyle who write solely for the Irish edition have led to most of the main news section as well as all other sections being editionalised for Ireland.

The Irish issue sells about 140,000 copies per week across the paper's entire circulation area, which includes a separate edition for Northern Ireland edited by Liam Clarke. The current Irish editor is Frank Fitzgibbon, a founder of the "Sunday Business Post."


* Joseph Hatton (1874–81)
* Rachel Beer (1893–1904)
* Denis Hamilton (1961–66)
* Harold Evans (1967–81)
* Frank Giles (1981–83)
* Andrew Neil (1983–1994)
* John Witherow (1995– )

See also

* The Sunday Times Motorshow Live
* Funday Times
* Mrs. Mills Solves all Your Problems


External links

* [ Official website]
* "The Guardian", 7 July 2003, [,13483,988954,00.html "John Witherow"]
* "The Guardian", 17 February 2003, [,2763,897015,00.html "Their Master's Voice"]

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