On a normal Sunday, the News of the World front page would expose scandals of the rich and famous. But today’s headline simply read: “Thank you and goodbye.”
Following accusations of phone hacking, the British tabloid which was first printed in 1843, was sunk by its own disgrace.
Editor Colin Myler thanked the 200 strong-staff who have lost their jobs as a result of the closure.
“I want to pay tribute to this wonderful team of people here who after a really difficult day, have produced in a brilliantly professional way, a wonderful newspaper,” he said.
In a last editorial the paper apologised for the phone hacking furore adding: “We lost our way”.
Millions of British readers were still expected to buy today’s final edition even though thousands of people had threatened to boycott the paper as new hacking victims continued to emerge over the last few days.
Commentators said that billionaire owner Rupert Murdoch had sacrificed the UK’s best selling newspaper to protect the rest of his media empire.
The 80-year-old was due in London today to take charge of the crisis.
The government’s likely to delay approval of his buy-out of the broadcaster BSkyB for several months because of the scandal.
The opposition Labour party called on Prime Minister David Cameron to wait until after the public inquiry into it delivers its report.
Critics were worried that the sale would give Murdoch’s business empire too much power over Britain’s media.
The billionaire had planned to purchase the 61% of the company’s shares he doesn’t already own.