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Rupert Murdoch to launch new UK tabloid, months after hacking scandal closed another

News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch leaves his house in London on Friday.

Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper arm is to launch a Sunday tabloid newspaper "very soon", it said on Friday, only seven months after it was forced to close its News of the World Sunday tabloid to defuse public outrage at the phone hacking scandal.

Murdoch was spending the day at his east London base to try and reassure staff at his mass selling tabloid The Sun after a string of arrests rocked staff in recent weeks.


He sent an email to staff confirming that he was still committed to the paper and would launch a Sunday edition of The Sun to replace the News of the World, which ceased publication in July when it emerged that its journalists routinely eavesdropped on the private voice-mail messages of celebrities, sports figures, politicians and crime victims including a murdered 13-year-old girl.

 

Murdoch said he plans to remain in London for several weeks to handle the crisis caused by phone hacking and police investigations into alleged email hacking and purported bribery of public officials.

The contents of the internal email were quickly circulated and published on media news websites.

'Great journalism'
Murdoch's visit follows last week's arrest of five senior staff at The Sun as part of an inquiry into the alleged payment of bribes to police and defense officials for information. A total of 10 current and former staff at The Sun — Britain's biggest selling newspaper — have been questioned over the allegations. None has so far been charged.

"We cannot protect people who have paid public officials," Murdoch said in his email, which was forwarded to The Associated Press. "I am confident we can live by these commitments and still produce great journalism."

Murdoch confirmed that staff currently suspended amid the police inquiries would be allowed to return to their posts, and pledged to help The Sun, which he has owned since 1969, recover from the crisis. He said the tabloid is "part of me and is one of our proudest achievements."

"We will build on The Sun's proud heritage by launching The Sun on Sunday very soon," Murdoch's email read. "Our duty is to expand one of the world's most widely read newspapers and reach even more people than ever before."

The Associated Press, Reuters and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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