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Rupert Murdoch's scandal could hurt future media prospects


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As Britain's storied weekly tabloid News of the World published its final issue yesterday after 168 years, owner Rupert Murdoch's media empire is facing perhaps its greatest trial ever.

Murdoch, 80, flew to London yesterday to try quell the phone-hacking scandal that shuttered the paper and save his bid to purchase British TV operator BSkyB, a move that would give him control of more than 50 percent of British TV and newspapers. But politicians called for a stop to the deal until an investigation has been completed.

"[Prime Minister David Cameron] needs to make clear that BSkyB cannot go ahead until the investigation is complete," one politician told the BBC. "I hope he changes his position on this. I don't want to have to force a vote."

Murdoch made the decision to close the often-controversial paper as allegations mounted that the publication employed private investigators who hacked into the voicemails of murder victims, dead war veterans, politicians and celebrities.

The paper's editor at the time and current News International CEO, Rebekah Brooks, for now has dodged a bullet, as Rupert chose to keep her on, saying she had no knowledge of the alleged misdeeds. A smiling Murdoch — a big supporter of Brooks — was seen with her yesterday in London, where he called her his “priority.”

Still, the paper's 200-odd journalists got the last word, as they sneaked not-so-subtle digs at their former boss into yesterday's puzzles, including words such as "Brooks," "catastrophe," "criminal enterprise" and "menace."

(with Reuters)

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