Sun Scorches Mirror in UK Tabloid Price Struggle

24 July 2002

London’s tabloid newspaper readers can look forward to spending even less on their daily red-top fix as The Sun steps up its price war with The Mirror.

In a surprise move, The Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International, has announced it will sell for 10p ($0.16; €0.16) in the capital – half its previous price – every weekday until further notice.

The Mirror started the battle in May, slashing its cover price from 32p to 20p – a move that prompted an immediate, identical cut by its rival [WAMN: 04-May-02]. A few weeks later the Mirror claimed victory, resuming its 32p cover price in most parts of the country – but not in London, the two papers’ most fiercely fought battleground.

The duo enjoy nothing better than scoring [often petty] points against the other, a reflection of the often bitter personal feud between Sun editor David Yelland and his counterpart at the Mirror Piers Morgan.

Yelland, who has sworn to “destroy” his rival’s paper, was in quasi-Churchillian mode: “This price war was begun by Trinity Mirror [owner of the Mirror] and, as we said at the time, it was started by them and will be finished by us on our terms. This war is serious.”

However, The Mirror refused to be drawn further into the fray, saying it would retain its 20p London price. Morgan told staff he is confident that the “great journalism” of his paper – much trumpeted since his sudden conversion to ‘serious’ news after September 11 – would win the day against the Sun’s reliance on scantily clad page-three models.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff