Rupert Murdoch has assured staff that he is committed to “continuing to own and publish The Sun” but speculation is rife that the tabloid could face closure. If so it will follow in the footsteps of sister title News of the World, which closed last July after a number of its staff were arrested and advertiser support dwindled amid the phone hacking scandal that rocked the media organisation.
It is not yet known if any advertisers will pull ads from The Sun. In July, brands including O2, Reckitt Benckiser, Sainsbury’s, nPower and Vauxhall suspended advertising in News of the World in response to the scandal.
Murdoch is due to arrive in London this week echoing the trip he made last July, which resulted in the closure of News of the World.
The Sun’s deputy editor Geoff Webster, picture editor John Edwards, chief reporter John Kay, associate news editor John Sturgis and chief foreign reporter Nick Parker were arrested alongside a Ministry of Defence employee, army major and police officer, for their involvement in corruption, aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office and conspiracy.
In an email to staff News Int’s chief executive Tom Mockridge said: “The Sun has a proud history of delivering groundbreaking journalism. You should know that I have had a personal assurance today from Rupert Murdoch about his total commitment to continue to own and publish The Sun newspaper.’
“Today we are facing our greatest challenge. Dominic is committed to leading the paper through this difficult period and, while today’s arrests are shocking, we need to support him and his team to serve the loyal readers of The Sun and produce a great paper for Monday.”
The developments at The Sun bring fresh scrutiny on Murdoch’s US media organisation News Corp, which is also facing legal action over corrupt practices.