One look into James Murdoch's cold, dead eyes as he announced the decision to shut down the News of The World, was enough to reveal that the decision was taken for entirely commercial reasons and had nothing to do with morality or doing the right thing…If making the current staff of innocent people redundant and shutting a paper founded in 1843 can actually be described as 'the right thing.'
Profit is all the Murdochs care about and despite still being the most popular newspaper in the UK the revelation that the NOTW had hacked and deleted messages on murdered Milly Dowler's phone, plus the phones of dead soldiers and 7/7 victims was enough to start seriously impacting on advertising revenue (and the News International share price).
The Guardian reported that: "Most advertisers, including Sainsbury's, Asda, Dixons, Boots, Specsavers, Ford, Halifax, Co-op and Npower had already pulled their campaigns. It is understood News International only had four left — BSkyB, British Gas, Mars and Tesco." (Good old Tesco, another organisation well regarded for its morals.) Readers were also expected to desert the tarnished rag in their droves.
Where there's muck there's brass and so it seems unlikely that Rupert and spawn James will wait around before launching an imitation News of the Screws for those missing a serving of sleaze on a Sunday, but what to call it? The Sun on Sunday isn't a great name but that didn't stop parties unknown registering the domain name just three days ago, so it looks like it will be business as usual for News International especially as their other titles (the Sun, News of the World, the Times and Sunday Times) had already announced plans to switch to seven-day operation to provide content for their websites.
More importantly, divesting themselves of the toxic title will help the Murdochs in their bid to gain control of 100% of BSkyB, a fight they'd looked to have won until this week, with the decision potentially being subject to review.
Profit is all that motivates the Murdochs with BSkyB the cash cow the NOTW once was. When Rupert finessed control of the NOTW away from its then owner Sir William Carr in 1968, using his unique brand of chutzpah blended with bare faced lying, Rupert told Sir William they'd run the paper together, before forcing him out just three months later.
The News of the World has been News International's most profitable newspaper ever since, becoming a veritable cash machine once N.I operations had been brutally transplanted from Fleet Street to Wapping, a move that enabled Murdoch to sack over 5000 print workers in a single stroke. As the redundant printers fought pitched battles with riot police outside the plant Rupert and his money men saw profits rise by 300% which paid for his American purchases, most famously Twentieth Century Fox and the network of local TV stations that would become the Fox TV Network.
Profit trumps politics, with the Murdochs' right of centre inclinations being flexible enough to allow them to support Labour when they looked likely to win past elections and then switch to supporting the Tories when roles reversed.
In fact politicians of all hues should be ashamed of cowering before Rupert and taking his dime, Blair and Alastair Campbell kowtowed with the best of them with David Blunkett gladly accepting cash for columns from his good friend Rebekah 'Toxic' Brooks. Cameron is now looking particularly foolish for employing the criminally inclined Andy Coulson, especially as NOTW hacked his phone (apparently convinced they had a story about the PM's history of cocaine use) and Chancellor Gideon 'George' Osbourne.
It seems like corruption will occur in any organisation where profit is the main motivator. First the MPs fiddled their expenses and then the bankers bankrupted the country (I prefer old school bank robbers to the modern robber banks) and now Murdoch's organisation has proven that greed is actually bad and that the first responsibility of a news organisation must be to investigate and report the truth in a moral manner. Nick Davies is the lead reporter from the Guardian who has kept the story alive, I don't know what he earns but I can guess his relentless digging has not been motivated by profit.