Sunday Times 'launching standalone website'

It has been a long-standing gripe of Sunday Times editor John Witherow that the Sunday Times does not have its own website, but instead publishes its content on the main Times Online site.

So a standalone site for the country’s top-selling quality Sunday title would be long overdue.

MediaGuardian.co.uk believes a standalone site for the Sunday Times could launch within the next three months.

It says Times executives are considering charging for it – which would tie in with News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch’s recent comments that the “current days of the internet are over” and that he is looking at charging for more online news.

The Times and Sunday Times continue to have separate editorial teams, unlike the Telegraph, Guardian and Independent titles where the Monday to Saturday and Sunday operations have all been largely merged.

The Sunday Times has so far failed to really embrace digital media as a standalone title.

Back in 2003 it tried bringing out a CD-rom supplement packed with interactive content called The Month which was backed by a £10m investment.

But it turned out to be something of a disaster, having little impact on sales and apparently being hit by the fact that, at the time, on Sundays readers were reluctant to sit at their computer screens.

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