Holy cow. I hadn't heard of anybody who expected this. Rupert Murdoch is closing the News of the World in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. At most people figured he would throw a few editors to the wolves.
But Murdoch son James Murdoch is closing the paper founded in the mid-1800s, leaving the Sunday Sun to soldier on. It's true that advertisers had pulled out in response to the phone hacking revelations. But they would have returned in time if NOTW had been a solid franchise. There also was probably intense political pressure from Prime Minister David Cameron for the Murdochs to do "something." But closing the paper? Murdoch's pulling of the plug suggests that the NOTW was struggling financially. Struggling as much as Murdoch's "quality" paper, the Times? Hmmm.
But for many it may seem an appropriate end to a newspaper that seems to have run amok, with the latest revelations on hacking a dead girl's voice messages as the last straw.
UPDATE: See more complete BBC story here.
UPDATE: Elizabeth Knight of the Sydney Morning Herald identifies the real pressure point: Murdoch's desire to take full control of BSkyB: