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Stop the presses: Murdoch shutters tabloid to contain phone hacking scandal

I'm pretty sure this is just the first shoe to drop.

As msnbc.com news services reported:

Media analysts said the decision to close the newspaper appears to be a strategy to smooth the way for Murdoch’s plan to buy the 60 percent or so of British Sky Broadcasting that his media empire does not already own. The U.K. government is expected to make its final decision on the proposed deal by September.

The News of the World has been published since 1843. Rupert Murdoch acquired the newspaper in 1969 and it is currently the best-selling English-language paper in the world with a circulation of more than 2.6 million, according to recent figures.

Paul Hackett / Reuters

Two members of The News of The World staff hug outside a public house close to News International offices in Wapping, London, July 7. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation will close its tabloid News of the World after this Sunday's edition, as a result of an escalating phone hacking scandal, James Murdoch said on Thursday.

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News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks leaves the office of The News of The World on July 7, 2011 in London, England.

Matt Dunham / AP

James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive of News Corporation, Europe and Asia is driven away from the offices of News International in London, Thursday, July 7.

Kerim Okten / EPA

A man takes an issue of a free evening newspaper outside the entrance of a train station in London, England, July 7.

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Rebekah Brooks (formerly Wade) with Rupert Murdoch and son James Murdoch attend day 3 of the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival on March 18, 2010 in Cheltenham, England.

Bert Hardy / Getty Images

Saturday afternoon in the newsroom at the 'News of The World' office, 18th April 1953. Printers query a print with Chief Sub 'Tiny' Lear and Editor A. G Waters stands by. Original Publication : Picture Post - 6488 - The News of The World - pub. 1953

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News Of The World front page from 1954.

18th April 1953: A worker oiling a printing press at the headquarters of the 'News Of The World' which has a circulation of more than 8,000,000. The paper travels through this press at 10 - 15 miles an hour. Original Publication: Picture Post - 6488 - The 'News Of The World' - pub. 1953