Sun sports desk in recruitment drive for Sunday launch

The Sun sports desk has started recruiting in readiness for the launch of a Sunday edition, probably in January, prompting expectations of another circulation war.

Reporter Daniel King is the highest-profile capture from the News of the World, which was closed down by Rupert Murdoch in the summer following the phone-hacking scandal.

King is believed to have been offered two columns a week and will perform a similar role to the one he had at the News of the World, where he was chief sports news correspondent having been head-hunted from the Mail on Sunday.

King is understood to be one of eight journalists recruited so far by The Sun sports desk.

Several of the production staff will also make the switch across Wapping where they will link up again with sports editor Mike Dunn, who moved from the NOTW.

Officially, they are additions to The Sun sports department as Dunn is gearing up for a seven-day operation to include a Sunday paper.

Following the closure of the NOTW, Murdoch insisted there were no plans to replace it with a “Sun on Sunday”.

However, sources close to Wapping have always insisted that the launch was on ice rather than shelved completely.

The Sunday Mirror has been the biggest beneficiary from the demise of its rival, although even after an initial round of cover price cuts, The People, the Star on Sunday and the Mail on Sunday have increased circulation.

The Sun’s production staff currently work a four-night week and many of them used to earn as much as £350 from a Saturday shift on the News of the World.

Now they face the prospect of working on Saturdays as part of their normal hours as there are no plans to have a Sunday-only staff.