News International to sell Wapping site: statement

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News International, the British newspaper wing of Rupert Murdoch's global media empire, said Monday it is to sell its site in Wapping, east London, where it has been based for the past 25 years.

The move comes two months after the firm closed down its market-leading Sunday tabloid the News of the World, which operated out of Wapping, amid a scandal over the hacking of mobile phone voicemails.

"News International today announces it it putting its Wapping site up for sale," the company said in a statement.

The company's stable of titles, including The Sun, Britain's biggest selling daily tabloid, and respected daily The Times, will be entirely relocated to its neighbouring Thomas More Square base in east London, it added.

The company said "current market conditions" led to a decision "not to proceed with re-modelling the Wapping site".

Wapping was the site of a bitter and sometimes violent confrontation between Australian-born Murdoch and Britain's print unions when he first moved the papers and his printing presses there in 1986.

© 2011 AFP

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