Fascinating piece in the New York Times on the last minutes of the News of the World. This is what ‘burning the brand’ means:
When a chap from H.R. took the stage to tell us why our e-mail had stopped working, I walked out, too exhausted to listen anymore.
I had one last assignment to complete. During my time with the paper, I had developed close ties with many charities, especially those dealing with the armed forces. Because of this, I was tasked with giving away the profits we made from the sales of our final edition. I’d never pondered what it would be like to divvy up more than $4.5 million before, but had someone asked, I would have assumed it easy.
I had to beg. All the charities said something along the lines of: “Paul, we’re grateful for everything you have helped us with over the past two years, but we can’t. There are family members of dead servicemen on our board, and they will not accept News of the World’s money.” It took me from 4 p.m. Friday to just about 4 p.m. Saturday — nearly 50 phone calls in all — to find three charities that were happy to accept more than $1.5 million each from us.
The News of the World is dead; will the Sun on Sunday still rise?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty