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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    Qyiet (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:24pm

    Dumping them for PR or using it as an excuse

    I have no idea on the viability of the news of the world, but given the sad song that most people pushing dead paper seem to be singing, is this just a convenient excuse for them to prune the business?

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 12:59am

      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.

       

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        Jollygreengiant (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 2:41am

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

        There won't be more, they're on a different page I think? Dunno, haven't touched the rag for twenty years or so since he took over...

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 2:58am

          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.

           

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        Not an electronic Rodent, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 4:08am

        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.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:34pm

    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 www.thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered two days ago and www.sunday.co.uk 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.

     

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      out_of_the_blue, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

      Re: OR, cagey Murdoch has been SAYING he wanted to drop NOTW.

      Knowing this was nigh inevitable. Reasons stated, even in "leaks", are almost never the real reason.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:11pm

      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.

       

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        Michael, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 3:38am

        Re: Re:

        This isn't old dirt, this investigation has been ongoing for years. The British PM tried to cover it up until it just got too big. Right now, Murdock is trying desperately to make this stop at just NOW, before investigations of the rest of his media empire start.

         

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    BeeAitch (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:35pm

    Is it just me, or does Rupert Murdoch seem perfectly cut out to become a US congressman?

     

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    molecule (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:38pm

    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."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:49pm

    Ironically, a lot of people will probably buy the last ever News Of The World on Sunday now. After all, the newspaper has been going for nearly 170 years.

     

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      Planespotter (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 12:40am

      Re:

      That's OK, all the advertising space is being given to charities etc for free and any money it makes from sales is being donated to charity as well. Intesrestingly I'm not sure where you can buy it, last I heard most of the newspaper wholesalers were refusing to supply it!

       

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    JMT (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:02pm

    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.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 1:07am

      Re:

      I don't want to be too heartless about those people, but they were working for Rupert Murdoch and produced a celebrity-obsessed comic book aimed at people with the intellect of the average garden table. My sympathy levels are low.

       

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        The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:22am

        Re: Re:

        You just insulted garden tables! The people who read the spew of "news" "publications" such as News of the World have the IQ of a fencepost, and the couth of a maggot.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:13pm

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

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:31pm

      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".

       

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      abc gum, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

      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.

       

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      The eejit (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:59pm

      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.

       

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      Old Fool (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:04pm

      Re:

      Murdoch has NEVER 'done the right thing', he is trying damage limitation, he KNEW about all this, the lying low life toad.

      The News of the World is (was) a hate paper, if you are a narrow minded bigot, look no further for your news.

       

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      Planespotter (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 12:48am

      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.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 1:37am

      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.

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 3:22am

      Re:

      Murdoch has done the right thing far to late, thus here he gets pilloried!

      FTFY.

       

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      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:52am

      Re:

      Shill much?

       

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    Overcast (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:33pm

    Is it just me, or does Rupert Murdoch seem perfectly cut out to become a US congressman?

    I'm sure he has a couple in his back pocket now. Why be one, when you can just control a couple? lol

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:50pm

    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.

     

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    mike allen (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:59pm

    I have one question How far how deep? This could be indemic throughout the Murdoch empire yes even in USA Fox news etc and Oz too.

     

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    Jollygreengiant (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 12:35am

    The rotten apples are already in America

    Les Hinton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Hinton) is one of Murdoch's most senior executives, and was one of the first people to approve 'extraordinary payments' to the main journalist who employed the private detective involved in the phone hacking case.

    He's currently CEO of Dow Jones. Nuff said?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 1:32am

    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.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 2:48am

    You know what really funny about this?

    The running joke is that Brooks knows where all the mass graves are within the NotW. Fire her and the scandal becomes a true crisis for NewsCorp.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 3:55am

    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.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:24am

    He's doing it to try and save his satellite deal

    OFCOM are currently reviewing his take over of another UK broadcaster by his Sky network and I suspect this will be more lucrative going forward than any of his dead tree outlets.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 9:03am

      Re: He's doing it to try and save his satellite deal

      But now, he's being forced to undergo a "fit and proper persons" test, or he'll be forced to forfeit his current stake in BSkyB. And other newspapers' offices have been raided as well.

       

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    FM Hilton, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    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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