News of the World is understood to be reining in its online
ambitions by scaling down content on its website.
Newsoftheworld.co.uk editor Ricky Sutton is currently concentrating on
newsdesk duties on the main paper. His move comes as the four
million-selling Sunday tabloid is believed to be planning online
cutbacks, acording to industry sources.
Neither Sutton, who has been involved with the development of the site
for two years, nor NoW deputy editor Andy Coulson were available for
Newsoftheworld.co.uk was launched in 1999 and relaunched with a redesign
in November 2000. At that time, owner News International struck a
content deal with internet radio station Storm Live, which allowed Storm
to broadcast on the site.
At the height of its development, the site also carried games and video
content. NoW online also provided a branded feed of music, celebrity and
chat to mykindaplace. com and Freeserve.
Newsoftheworld.co.uk now carries the week's front page along with a
story each on showbiz and sport and a feature on SMS services. There is
also a link to the paper's For Sarah campaign, begun after the murder of
Sarah Payne, and the NoW's 'naming and shaming' campaign.
Overall control for newsof theworld.co.uk reverted to the newspaper
itself after News International broke up its new media division, News
Networks, in July 2000 - just seven months after its creation.
NoW's News International stablemates, The Sun, The Times and Sunday
Times, also relaunched their own sites in autumn 2000. Since then, the
latter two have rationalised their web offerings under Times online
editor Brigid Callaghan (PRWeek, 19 October).
The Sun's site, thesun.co.uk, received 15 million page impressions in
the month before the 11 September attacks.
In line with other website providers, News International has agonised
over the most effective ways of generating revenue online. The Times
began charging an annual fee of £10 to access crosswords in
In March 2000, News International sold its ISP, Bun.com, to
communications group World Online.