It won’t come as a surprise to its critics but Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid The Sun is now officially no longer worth the paper it’s printed on. The Financial Times reported today that the Australian-born billionaire had been forced to write down the value of what was once his most profitable newspaper brand to zero—so, technically, a 60p (85c) copy of the paper is worth more than the newspaper itself.
Murdoch bought the newspaper in 1969, relaunching it as a racy tabloid packed with topless models and dodgy celebrity scoops. At its peak, it enjoyed a five-million circulation. But, after years of circulation declines and with executives unable to unlock a digital future, it’s in crisis. After 42 years as the U.K.’s bestselling newspaper, it was overtaken by The Daily Mail last year. Its latest accounts show that The Sun and its Sunday sister paper now have “zero carrying value” after an £84 million writedown, the FT reported. It said that turnover had dropped by a fifth during the pandemic and £80 million of legal costs from a long-running phone-hacking scandal helped the papers to a pre-tax loss of £201 million ($284 million.)