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“I think it’s very sad day for the News of the World,” former editor, Andy Coulson, tells the AP. “And more importantly for the staff. They are brilliant, in my mind, brilliant professional people.”
Murdoch’s son and Deputy CEO of News Corp., James Murdoch, made good on Thursday’s promise that the paper would publish its last edition on Sunday, saying the publication had let itself become corrupted by bad news practices.
The announcement came amid a phone hacking scandal in which the organization had been charged with gaining access to private citizens’ mobile phones, including a teen girl gone missing, the relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan, and the families of victims of London’s 2005 terror attacks.
The final issue is said to be a tome to the paper’s history. Its cover, pictured right, states, “Thank You & Goodbye: After 168 years, we finally say a sad but very proud farewell to our 7.5m loyal readers.” The proceeds from the final issue are to go to “good causes,” as James said in a memo on the closing.
A reported 200 journalists, who were given no prior notice, will lose their jobs with the closing. Though, they have been given the opportunity to apply at other companies within News Corp.
“Obviously, this is a devastating day for all of us at the News of the World,” says Showbiz Editor, Dan Wootton. “I am so proud of my colleagues who have continued this week in absolutely trying and very personally and professionally difficult circumstances in such a professional manner.”
Apparently, there was some bitterness at the headquarters over the fact that Rebekah Brooks — who was the paper’s editor at the time the phone hacking was performed and who’s now a News Corp. exec — gets to keep her job. Murdoch has said she has his “total” support.
“She is the person where the buck should have stopped, and this won’t stop until she goes,” said Alastair Campbell, who served as Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s press secretary. “They can’t protect her forever. People are going to lose their jobs because of what happened on her watch.”
Eighty-year-old Murdoch traveled to London on Saturday to assist in the phone hacking scandal and with its fallout, which not only includes the close of NOTW, but may threaten the company’s bid to take over BSkyB, UK’s largest pay TV broadcaster.
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