Murdochs' Latest Attempt At Crisis Control: Kill Off News Of The World

from the wipe-hands,-problem-solved dept

Apparently all the negative stories about questionable (and potentially criminal) activities by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, and various advertisers pulling out of supporting the tabloid, have resulted in the Murdoch Family/News Corp. deciding to pull the plug entirely on the newspaper as of Sunday. The crisis control includes finally admitting that the problem was much wider and deeper than the company had claimed earlier. James Murdoch put out a statement, in which he also confirmed that he had tried paying off the victims of News of the World’s phone hacking/spying:

Murdoch told employees at the 168-year old title: “The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed to when it came to itself”.

Murdoch said in a statement: “Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued.”

Murdoch also conceded the company had “made statements to parliament without being in full possession of the facts. This was wrong”.

He said “the News of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter” but that was untrue, and that the company had passed information to the police which would demonstrate this.

“Those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences,” he said.

Murdoch also said in his statement to staff that he had authorised out-of-court payments to victims of hacking and that: “I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so.”

He added: “That was wrong and is a matter of serious regret.”

While it’s good to see the Murdochs finally willing to address the mess head on, it also shows just how bad things are that they couldn’t keep trying to brush the whole thing aside as one or two rogue employees.

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Comments on “Murdochs' Latest Attempt At Crisis Control: Kill Off News Of The World”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Dumping them for PR or using it as an excuse

“I have no idea on the viability of the news of the world”

I’ve read that it was the biggest selling Sunday newspaper in the world, and Wikipedia states its sales as nearly 3 million in October 2010.

“is this just a convenient excuse for them to prune the business?”

Yes and no. I’m sure that Murdoch would have been happy to keep the paper going under normal circumstances. But, he’s definitely not going to wave away the loss of such sales.

Current speculation is that he’s simply going to launch a Sunday version of The Sun, the most popular weekday tabloid. In real terms, this means it’ll just be a rebranded NOTW with more tits on page 3.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Dumping them for PR or using it as an excuse

I don’t look at it often, usually just to shake my head in disbelief at the blatant lies, distortions and idiocy they’re passing for “news”.

But, last time I checked page 3 was still very much in existence, and I don’t think they’d have any qualms about putting it in the Sunday edition.

Not an electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Dumping them for PR or using it as an excuse

Current speculation is that he’s simply going to launch a Sunday version of The Sun, the most popular weekday tabloid. In real terms, this means it’ll just be a rebranded NOTW with more tits on page 3.

They run plenty of political stories and lots about footballers…. there’s tits all over the place anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

The News Of The World was a Sunday only paper – it was the sister paper of The Sun which was printed 6 days a week.

Therefore, cynics are already suggesting that a Sunday edition of The Sun will replace the News Of The World.

The fact was registered two days ago and redirects to the News Of The World website supports this.

So, in the end, it’s smoke and mirros – the newspaper is just being renamed. According to newspaper insiders on Twitter, Murdoch has been wanting to drop News Of The World and The Sun to come out 7 days a week for some time, but the News Of The World staff were against it… Now, thanks to this, he gets his wish.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s more than likely the result of a several things.

Rupert Murdoch’s attacks on Obama and George Soros via Fox News. The resultant progressives digging up dirt on his businesses and staff. All more than more than likely ended up with the progressives going to past mis-deeds because they couldn’t find any current mis-deeds.

This more than likely gave rupert the excuse he needed to shut down the paper to reduce cost. After all the newspaper business is dying.

molecule (profile) says:

the money quote in the guardian article:

Labour MP Tom Watson, who has been highlighting the phone-hacking scandal at the paper for two years, said: “Rupert Murdoch did not close the News of the World. It is the revulsion of families up and down the land as to what they got up to. It was going to lose all its readers and it had no advertisers left. They had no choice.”

JMT says:

What’s sad is that it’s the current employees of News of the World who are being punished, most of whom were not with the paper when the hacking was taking place. The current staff are saying it’s a quite a different group of people running the paper these days, and they as horrified by the actions of former staff as anyone else. If the Murdochs had any guts they’d be defending these people publicly, not throwing them on the fire.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Damage control is doing the right thing now?

All I’m seeing is that he either lied or played dumb until the evidence was too damning, then cut off a rotting limb before it spread.

At no point does he admit a mistake was made. Only that “he didn’t have a full picture” when he authorized hush money, and that “wrongdoers weren’t adequately pursued”.

abc gum says:

Re: Re:

“Murdoch has done the right thing, yet here he still gets pilloried?”

So – unauthorized access to personal phone messaging services is “doing the right thing” – interesting concept. I think you have a future with AT&T.

I guess they figured if HP can get away with it, why not give it a whirl … Obviously there are two sets of rules here. One set of rules for those with money and influence allows for unauthorized access to phone records and messages. The other set of rules, for the peons, allows imprisonment of those who record things in public.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Okay, in the BBC interview, I have never seen soi much contempt shown by one person for a group of people as James MUrdoch did for the current crop of NoitW journalists.

His name is also shown on receipts from the time period where the hacking was prevalent. I find it highly unlikely that he didn’t know what was going on, at least in part.

Planespotter (profile) says:

Re: Re:

lol, the only reason they shut NOTW ws because the vast majority of its advertisers had pulled out, that several large wholesalers were refusing to suplly it to retailers and that plans were afoot to stop people buying it, it wasn’t shut down by Murdoch @ Son it had no-where else to go, it wasn’t a viable paper any more.

Needless to say the main reason for this action on their part is to try and look like they are doing it for the right reason and take the heat off Murdoch’s ambition to buy up the remaining 61% stake in BSkyB. OOPS! The cats out of the bag and lots of people who already didn’t want Murdoch to solely own BSkyB have been joined by hundreds of thousands more.

Personally I won’t be happy till he has to sell off his entire UK empire and then feck off back to Oz or the US.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Hardly the “right thing”, at least in terms of morals. It’s blatantly damage control and a business decision, not because he’s grown a heart. He shut down a newspaper whose name had been permanently damaged by its actions and which was losing almost all of its major advertisers. Even if it lasted financially, its sales would have been a fraction of its former glory for some considerable time.

Here, he gets the chance to pretend he’s doing something positive, while all the signs point to him simply launching a new paper, which will save him money because it’ll be operating out of The Sun’s offices. He also refuses to hold the editor of the NOTW who was ultimately responsible for the actions responsible for her paper’s actions.

I’d go on, but at a guess you’re the same AC who’s throwing childish tantrums in the music threads below, so it’s probably pointless going further.

Nicedoggy says:

This also highlights something that is important to me.

If the orders for that behavior that was widespread came from the top down and now the people below are out of jobs this just shows why one should leak any wrong doing in any institution, because when it gets damaged people on the top just close the darn thing and let the little people to hang out in the cold.

Anonymous Coward says:

Andy Coulson, the guy who edited the paper for most of the incidents of phone hacking, is likely to be arrested today for bribing police officers. He is also implicated in perjury for denying he had any knowledge of bribing police officers in court. Ironically, this was when he was a witness in the trial of a politician who was found guilty of perjury.

When he left the paper he worked for David Cameron as his press secretary, and only resigned earlier this year when the heat around him was becoming too great. The decision by David Cameron to employ him was utterly stupid given Coulson’s claim that he had no knowledge of phone hacking/bribing police officers did not hold up to the slightest scrutiny.

This story will run and run.

Anonymous Coward says:

Of course if the paper is liquidated then all of the assets including the documents relevant to the phone hacking affair will be transferred to a professional liquidator. Their obligation is to maximize assets and minimize liabilities and they won’t be required to keep the files and can basically legally destroy the evidence before any further investigation by the police.

FM Hilton (profile) says:

What is it about that woman?

For the life of me, I cannot understand why they allowed Rebeckah Brooks to remain at her job (and stay employed in some future position), while everyone else in the company is getting canned and some arrested.
I mean, is she sleeping with the old man, or something? Is the son involved with her? What is it with the red haired witch, who happened to be running the paper while this was going on?
“I didn’t do it…and don’t blame me…I didn’t know it was going on.” Bullshit. She knows more than she’s ever going to say, and I’d bet that Murdoch and spawn are paying her very, very well to stay quiet. She knows the PM, and all the major players. There’s someone definitely behind her to keep her in place.
An executive has to be accountable for what their employees were doing. She’s not, and you gotta wonder how deep her trench is-or how big her slush fund.
Either way, she’s the one who has all the answers, I’d bet.

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