LONDON – Weekly World News is in talks to acquire Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World.
Rupert Murdoch is in talks with WWN’s Neil McGinnis to sell the shuttered London tabloid to Weekly World News. The media in London is buzzing with the takeover rumors. McGinnis flew to London last night to seal the deal.
“Weekly World News is the only news organization that is capable of bringing respectability back to News of the World,” Rupert Murdoch told BBC News. “We think WWN can revive the paper and make it the storied news gathering organization that it once was.”
Rupert Murdoch shut down the News of the World last week amid the paper’s phone-hacking scandal.
As allegations multiplied that its journalists hacked the voicemails of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of Britain’s war dead, the tabloid hemorrhaged advertising, alienated millions of readers and posed a growing threat to Murdoch’s hopes of buying broadcaster BSkyB.
Ergo, News of the World was shut down. And now… WWN is making a move to takeover.
Praising a fine muck-raking tradition at the paper, which his father bought in 1969, James Murdoch wrote in a statement to stunned staff that the explosion of a long-running scandal over phone hacking by journalists had made the paper unviable.
News of the World was a national tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom from 1843 to 2011, printing its last edition on July 10th
It was originally established as a broadsheet by John Browne Bell, the Bells sold to Lascelles Carr in 1891; in 1969 it was bought from the Carrs by Rupert Murdoch’s media firm News Ltd. Reorganized into News International, itself a subsidiary of News Corporation, it was transformed into a tabloid in 1984. News of the World was the Sunday sister paper of The Sun. The newspaper concentrated on celebrity-based scoops and populist news. Its fondness for sex scandals gained it the nicknames “News of the Screws” and “Screws of the World”.
It had a reputation for exposing national or local celebrities as drug users, sex freaks or criminals, setting up insiders and journalists in disguise to provide either video or photographic evidence, and phone hacking in ongoing police investigations.
Murdoch said that McGinnis of WWN was the “toughest negotiator” I’ve ever met. WWN plans on sending over a staff of 10 to replace the 200 people formerly employed by News of the World.
Lookout England… here comes Bat Boy!!