MEDIA: NoW ready to downscale the content of its website

News of the World is understood to be reining in its online

ambitions by scaling down content on its website. 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

comment. 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. 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 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,, 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,, to

communications group World Online.

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