Murdoch Puts His Prized Tab in Dry Dock
Wow. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Destroying the village in order to save it. Find your analogy, and somehow it'll fit with word that News International will shutter the News of the World tab after a sordid run of 168 years.
Never mind that the Sunday paper is the largest-selling English-language newspaper in the world. Rupert Murdoch--through his surrogate, son James--simply had enough after the phone-hacking scandal that threatened to blow back on his media empire big-time. James Murdoch wrote in a letter to staff that was published on NoW's website:
So, just as I acknowledge we have made mistakes, I hope you and everyone inside and outside the Company will acknowledge that we are doing our utmost to fix them, atone for them, and make sure they never happen again.
Having consulted senior colleagues, I have decided that we must take further decisive action with respect to the paper.
This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World.
And to show the Murdochs are horribly, truly contrite, all profits from this weekend's final edition will go to "good causes.'
Any advertising space in this last edition will be donated to causes and charities that wish to expose their good works to our millions of readers.
These are strong measures. They are made humbly and out of respect. I am convinced they are the right thing to do.
You have to think that a younger Rupert Murdoch would've flipped the British establishment the bird if he he had found himself in a similar situation. But this is the 80-year-old version, worried about legacies, ignominy and, oh yes, stock prices.
This was an immensely profitable paper, with a 2.6 million circulation, to boot. But fear not, Britons: your weekend dose of filth will not disappear entirely. The Guardian reports The Sun, the nation's leading daily tabloid distinguished by its buxom--and always topless--Page 3 girls, is readying for a Sunday launch.
It'll soon be safe to gag on your Weetabix again while having your morning coffee.