A beleaguered Rupert Murdoch has given his “total support” to News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, despite the phone-hacking scandal that has sunk the best-selling British tabloid the News of the World.
The media tycoon is expected to take charge of the situation in London today.
The newspaper has doubled the print run of its final edition on Sunday, with the proceeds being donated to charity.
An inquiry is to examine claims that in the past, the paper hacked into the phones of perhaps thousands of people.
In the newsroom there is a feeling that the wrong people are being punished.
“There is a bit of sadness in there – a lot of emotion, but we all love the paper. We’ve all come in there, none of us in there had anything to do with this phone-hacking,” said the News of the World’s political editor, David Wooding.
The scandal is likely to delay a decision on Murdoch’s bid for full ownership of BSkyB.
But the damage could go beyond financial concerns, says UK media analyst and former editor of the Guardian newspaper, Peter Preston:
“Murdoch and the Murdoch press is, for the moment and probably forever, hugely weakened as a political force. Can you imagine the next election and politicians lining up to say ‘please can I be endorsed by the Sun as the next prime minister’?”
In the long term there could be implications for Murdoch’s global operations.
For now all eyes are on the end of the News of the World.
After exposing scandals for 168 years, it has now been killed off by one of its own.