Press buyers urge The Sun to bring back buzz

LONDON - Press buyers have called on Rebekah Wade, the new editor of The Sun, to recreate the buzz and sense of humour of its halcyon days.

Wade, who replaced David Yelland earlier this week, is expected to make changes to the senior editorial team of the newspaper. She is said to have placed an early emphasis on landing bigger exclusive stories.

Steve Goodman, the group press director at MediaCom, said: "I think it needs a bit more humour. While it's still a great paper, it must improve its circulation and to drag in new readers it needs innovation. Maybe it has become a bit too serious - the high times of The Sun were when it was more fun."

Mark Gallagher, the press director at Manning Gottlieb OMD, said: "Yelland seems to have been very quiet. She needs to get the humour back, make it a bit lighter. Advertisers want value and, regardless of the recent upturn in circulation, the long term is decline. The Sun needs to get in touch with readers and bring them in at the younger end. If the Daily Star can do it, why can't the market leader?"

Press buyers also said that Wade's campaigning style - she instigated the News of the World's naming and shaming of paedophiles - would be welcome if it got The Sun more talked about.

Wade, 34, joins the The Sun after two-and-a-half years at the helm of the News of the World. During that time, its circulation has fallen slightly from just over four million to 3.96 million. The Sun's circulation has increased 4 per cent over the past six months on the back of cover price cuts.

Yelland, who had edited The Sun for five years, is leaving journalism to take a wider business role at News International after completing a business course in the US. Andy Coulson, Wade's deputy at the News of the World, will edit the Sunday paper.

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