The Sun shuts down SunTalk
Friday, July 16 2010, 10:16 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,

The Sun has decided to scrap its Jon Gaunt-fronted internet radio station SunTalk after just over a year in operation.

The station, which described itself as "the home of free speech" when it launched in April last year, aired every weekday for three hours. SunTalk was also broadcast on FM to the expatriate community in parts of Spain.

However, yesterday's show was the station's final transmission. A message on the SunTalk homepage said: "SunTalk is no longer live. Thank you for listening over the last 18 months. Please continue to enjoy our podcasts."

News International had been considering expanding the station with a launch nationwide on the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) platform, but is thought to have been put off by the cost, reports The Guardian.

A News International spokesman said: "News International can confirm that SunTalk has closed. This was a business decision taken as part of an ongoing review of costs and strategy to focus on core operations."

Earlier in the week, Gaunt lost his legal battle with Ofcom over a 2008 interview in which he called a councillor a "Nazi".

The interview, conducted when Gaunt was at TalkSport, was criticised by the media regulator for being intentionally offensive, which led to Gaunt losing his job. The presenter has already signalled his intention to appeal the court verdict.

The closure of SunTalk is not believed to have any relation to the outcome of the case.