Thursday 7 July 2011

News of the World to close

Wow. What a move by the Murdoch Empire, putting a bullet into one of their main UK title's - a 168 year old paper nonethless.

However, this is a great example of not wasting a good crisis. Given the understandable outrage generated by the paper its brand was very damaged. No doubt News Corp recalled the Sun boycott in Liverpool after Hillsborough.

So that meant drastic action was needed. However, newspapers are highly unionised entities and not easy to change or close down - given their staff prediliction and ability to complain in public. News of the World was loss-making and many people can see the newspaper business model is under severe challenge from the internet. So this is a great opportunity to do the right thing and also manage to exit a business which was struggling in any event - and how can the Unions complain?

Clever move and personally I shan't miss the News of the Screws in any event.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Was it loss making? If so, good point.

CityUnslicker said...

the writing was on the wall as above.

BBC thinks so too in its close story.

Bill Quango MP said...

Still. A big decision.
That's why Rupert is still king even after all these years.

Guardian media still hasn't found a way to chop the unread Observer. Even two years after having decided to do so.

Sean said...

I wonder if rupert will take the rest of the tabloids down with the notw. I fancy sundays edition will be worth reading for once.

roym said...

hmmm, a lot of folk on twitter rejoicing, however we are still left with the fundamental concerns at the top. i.e. the pervasion into the upper echelons of the old bill and downing street.

And to think of all those job losses just to save rebbeca brooks. shame

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, losing money, Guido thinks it is profitable who is right? The Times has never payed under Murdoch or under the previous owner Capt. Bob Maxwell it was the prestige of owning the paper.

Anonymous said...

It was the influence that owning The Times brought....

Anonymous said...

And the Tories won't waste the opportunity to call the coppers to account over Operation Glade and Operation Motorman.

They still want scalps for the arrest of Damien Green on the last day that Ian Blair, NuLabour placemen, led the MPS.

Electro-Kevin said...

In light of some of the horrific things that have happened in Britain over the last decade or so why is this such a 'crisis' ?

I'm not sure the average person gives much of a toss. They should. It could well result in the emasculation of the free press - however unscrupulous it may be.

Timbo614 said...

As CU says - it's a clever move. Cut your losses - look to the next big thing, even after 168 years.

Everything has it's moment and it's time. Murdoch indeed is a smart cookie, and cookies (the ones recorded by your internet browser) is where he'll go next.

I don't like the guy but I doff my cap to this move.

andrew said...

We seem to be caught between

having a highly controlled media that is accurate and truthful, and costly but does not tell us things we want to know
having an uncontrolled media that can be inaccurate and untrustworthy, and free but may tell us things we do want to know.

the average person will vote with their wallet.

welcome back to the 300 year old world of coffee house rumors.

Many are shocked about all the pillars of society being exposed as v. frail, but I would point our that what has changed is that we are finding out about things, rather than a decline in standards

john b said...

NOTW was profitable - anyone who claims otherwise has absolutely no idea about how the UK news industry works. Sun is also profitable but lower margin, Times and Sunday Times are heavily lossmaking and baled out by NOTW/Sun profits.

NI's plans to integrate NOTW and Sun were about cutting costs to further boost profits (and defend from potential future losses in print revenue), not about getting rid of a lossmaker. You might be getting confused with GMG's plans to axe the (heavily lossmaking) Observer and merge it with the (less heavily lossmaking) Guardian.

CityUnslicker said...

John - several sources cite the NOTW as lossmaing - BBC, Gaurdian and press gazette on occasion.

I bow to anyone's superior knowledge but even the City analyst I spoke to did not really know the truth. Even if you are right,t he story is the same, getting rid of union workers without a strike.

john b said...

Really? Got a link at all? NI overall has been lossmaking in recent years, but I've never seen any press or analyst report that claimed anything other than NOTW as a profit generator that helped bail out the Times and ST's enormous losses.

john b said...

(and I can't find anything from BBC, Grauniad or PG claiming that NOTW is unproitable)

rwendland said...

Sky News says NOTW is profitable, and they should have the inside track:

"With an average weekly circulation of 2.6 million, the News Of The World is Britain's best-selling Sunday paper and a profitable venture.

... News Group Newspapers Ltd, which publishes The Sun and The News Of The World, made a profit of £86m for the year ending June 2010."

If NOTW is a seperate subsidiary, I wonder if closing it could evade civil liabilities? Police say 4000+ people may have been phone hacked. If 4000 took civil action, at both sides legal costs + damages of say 128k each, that is a cool half a billion in liability.