In its heyday The Herald had a circulation of almost 600,000 but by the time of its 150th birthday in 1990, with the impact of evening television news and more people using cars as a means for transport rather than trains or trams, The Herald's circulation had fallen to just under 200,000.
The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd was faced with the choice of either closing The Herald which would mean a massive lay off of employees or merging it with its morning sister paper The Sun News-Pictorial and combining the best journalists and features from both papers in a new newspaper. The HWT decided to merge the two and so The Herald was published for the last time as a separate newspaper on October 5, 1990, after one hundred and fifty years, ten months and two days of publication.
The Herald-Sun, like all Murdoch tabloids, supports politically and socially conservative views. It was claimed at the time that its ferocious campaign against Joan Kirner's state Labor government was in large part responsible for its downfall, though the extent to which that was true is unclear. Compared to its Sydney stablemate, The Daily Telegraph, it is a little more restrained in its style of reporting, though it is still more lurid in its reporting of, for instance, crime stories, than a typical broadsheet. Media critics, such as the ABC's Media Watch program, have regularly pointed out that like other Murdoch papers it consistently reflects its proprietor's views and commercial interests even where they diverge from the paper's audience.
The old Herald and Weekly Times building located in Flinders Street, Melbourne is heritage listed which means the historic exterior facade - the neon HERALD SUN sign and the former radio transmission towers on the roof for radio station 3DB, that was also housed in the building for many years, cannot be removed although the interior of the building was gutted after the HWT moved out in 1995 after seventy-two years in the building.
The Herald-Sun has been nicknamed The Hun by some of its detractors.