Today’s the day that the new editor in chief of the Daily Sun and the Sunday Sun takes over two of the country’s biggest selling newspapers. The paper celebrates its 10th birthday this year, and Mazwi Xaba is not content to let it rest on its laurels.
“As part of the Isolezwe newspaper phenomenon, I’m proud to have contributed in the transformation of the industry particularly in KZN and in the development and promotion of my mother tongue, “ says Xaba.
“The new challenge I’ve taken on is a bigger and national revolution. I’m humbled by the trust the entire Sun team has shown in me and I think, God willing, we’ll only see success succeeding success for the next ten years. But we won’t forget celebrating the successes of the past with our readers and other stakeholders and saying thanks a million.”
The Daily Sun was launched in 2002, the brainchild of the late Deon Du Plessis. Minette Ferreira, general manager at Daily Sun, says the newspaper has survived a bumpy ride last year, with the death of Du Plessis and the resignation of long-term editor, Themba Khumalo (TK).
“After nine years at the helm of the editorial team, TK moved on to explore new opportunities. He left large shoes to fill. It’s why we’ve taken our time – and with painstaking attention to detail, have worked our way through the cream of South African journalists to find the right leader,” says Ferreira.
She says the editor of the Daily Sun and Sunday Sun is “a person with the biggest job in the South African newspaper industry”.
Xaba has some challenges on his hands. The Daily Sun’s latest ABC figures sit at 375 185 down from 392 102 in the same period last year. The Sunday Sun has rallied marginally better, but is still down to 210 846 from 211 710.
But Ferreira told TheMediaOnline that despite the loss in circulation the paper suffered during these tough times, the Daily Sun is “still far ahead”.
“But it’s about coming back,” she says. “And the leadership of the new editor will be key to this. Our readers might have stopped reading it on a daily basis, but they’re still buying several copies a week, and perhaps sharing on the days they don’t buy it.”