SunTalk named press digital innovation of the year

LONDON - The Sun newspaper's radio station SunTalk was named the digital innovation of the year at the British Press Awards last night.

SunTalk: host Jon Gaunt
SunTalk: host Jon Gaunt

SunTalk, hosted by controversial former TalkSport DJ Jon Gaunt and available from the newspaper's website thesun.co.uk, was hailed as the industry's best innovation in the past 12 months.

Gaunt said: "It's great to be at the forefront of the changing media landscape, bringing together press and radio on The Sun's website.

"We've had so much fantastic support from all the journalists and team at The Sun and News International."

The Sun launched its online radio station on 20 April 2009 as part of parent News International's £1m investment in new TV and radio studios.

The online-only radio station airs live for three hours every morning between 10am and 1pm and is available for download throughout the day. The station's first guest was Conservative leader David Cameron.

News International's initial aim was to reach 150,000 listeners within its first year. With its first anniversary approaching, and with no audience figures yet released, some have speculated it has fallen considerably short of its target.

Paul Thomas, press consultant and former head of press at WPP’s Mindshare, said: To a certain extent it’s very hard to cost up the value of SunTalk because we have no idea how popular it is.

"However, publishers have got to be seen to be innovating in the hope things can build traction. The long-term gain is about getting as many fingers in as many pies as possible that will enable publishers to flog specific groups of people across a portfolio of media."

Separately, the Newspaper of the Year accolade at last night's British Press Awards went to the Daily Telegraph, fuelled by the MPs' expenses scandal.

The paper's editor-in-chief Will Lewis also won Journalist of the Year, its reporter Robert Winnett was awarded Political Journalist of the Year and the paper also took Campaign of the Year and Scoop of the Year.

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