Murdoch: NOTW Closure 'A Collective Decision'

Rupert Murdoch has said the decision to close the News Of The World was "a collective decision", as staff at the Sunday tabloid prepared its last ever edition.

The Sunday tabloid will double its print run to five million in expectation of bumper sales as the 168-year-old newspaper comes to an end.

Mr Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation - the parent company of News International (NI), which publishes the NOTW - made the comments on the final day of a media conference in Idaho.

The 80-year-old is due in London tomorrow on a scheduled visit.

Sky News sources said staff at NOTW were today putting together the tabloid's final edition with "dignity" amid a feeling of "anger and injustice".

On Twitter, the paper's deputy political editor Jamie Lyons wrote: "At my NOTW desk for the last time. Let's go out with a bang".

It is likely editor Colin Myler will lead all his employees out together after the last-ever issue has been put to bed.

Leaving his home this morning, Mr Myler said: "[It's] very sad, but they're a wonderful team of journalists, so they're the people I'm thinking about today."

Later, in a message to staff he said he knew they would "produce a paper to be proud of".

"I could not have been more proud or privileged to have you as my colleagues," he said.

"You have made enormous sacrifices for this company and I want you to know that your brilliant, creative talents have been the real foundation for making the News Of The World the greatest newspaper in the world."

He added: "Let's try to make the most of this incredibly sad but historic day.

"It's not where we want to be and it's not where we deserve to be."

Helen Moss, news and features sub editor at NOTW said emerged from the paper's Wapping site to tell reporters it was "an extremely sad day".

She said: "We're all extremely emotional. But every single one of us working up there today is very proud of working for the News of the World.

"We're very proud of our colleagues, we're very proud of our editor, and we go out with heads held up high.

Earlier, a 63-year-old man - understood be to a private investigator who worked for the tabloid - has been released on bail.

Former NOTW editor Andy Coulson and former royal reporter Clive Goodman were released on Friday night on police bail after being arrested earlier.

Speaking outside his home this morning, Mr Coulson said: "I think this is a very sad day for the News of the World.

"More importantly to the staff who, in my mind, are brilliant, professional people and I really feel for them."

Shares in BSkyB - owner of Sky News - tumbled amid fears over the future of News Corporation's bid for the satellite broadcaster.

By the end of trading on Friday the price of shares had fallen 7.6% to 750p .

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron has come under pressure to name a judge quickly to head the inquiry into phone hacking at the NOTW .

It comes after News International denied reports that police are investigating suspected deletion of emails by an executive.

The Guardian reports Scotland Yard is probing claims that a member of staff deleted "millions of emails" from an internal archive.

Police refused to comment on the allegations but a NI spokeswoman said the assertion was "rubbish".

"We adopted a documented email retention policy in line with our US parent's records management policy," she said.

"We are co-operating actively with police and have not destroyed evidence."

Meanwhile, NI's chief executive Rebekah Brooks hinted to staff that more revelations were ahead, warning of "another very difficult moment in this company's history".

She met News Of The World employees and defended her decision not to resign, saying she wanted to "fight and get this paper's reputation back".

In a recording of the meeting leaked to Sky News , she appeared to suggest further damaging revelations were ahead and added, "in a year's time every single one of you in this room might come up and say, 'OK, well I see what you saw now'."

After his release from Lewisham police station in southeast London, Mr Coulson said: "There is an awful lot I would like to say, but I can't at this time."

The 43-year-old, former director of communications at Number 10, was released on police bail until October.

Mr Goodman, who was re-arrested by police in connection with alleged police payments, has also been released on bail until October.

The 53-year-old was held after a dawn swoop by officers at his home in Surrey.

Officers conducted a search of his property and his desk at work at the Daily Star Sunday, as well as Mr Coulson's residence.

Mr Goodman was jailed in 2007, along with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, for phone hacking.

Mr Coulson resigned from Downing Street in January this year, saying the drip-drip of claims about hacking under his editorship was making his job impossible.

The reports concerning Mr Cameron's former spin doctor follow Thursday afternoon's news that this Sunday's edition of the best-selling tabloid is to be its last.

The axe fell on the newspaper after a series of increasingly damaging phone hacking allegations left its reputation in tatters.

The bombshell announcement came as advertisers deserted the paper in droves and police revealed 4,000 people may have had their phones hacked.

The BBC claimed the parents of murdered Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman could have been targets while The Guardian reported murder victim Milly Dowler's phone was also accessed illegally.

The NOTW also stands accused of paying thousands of pounds illegally to corrupt police officers.

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