‘News of the World’ Closure: Another Murdoch Coup?

Media elite in England split on wisdom of move

LONDON—Was Rupert Murdoch’s decision to close the News of the World a calamitous blunder or a masterstroke? Thursday night, when a cross section of London’s media and political class assembled for the Spectator magazine’s annual summer party, the guests couldn’t quite decide. The one subject on everyone’s lips was the demise of the newspaper and the survival, for the time being, of Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper publishing subsidiary. Some were gleeful, some were merely exhilarated by the torrential flow of events—the News of the World was mentioned 7,000 times on Twitter in the hour and a half following the closure announcement—while others were sorry to see the closure of a newspaper title, whatever it might be.