News Corp to sell News of the World site

City A.M. Reporter
News International has put its Wapping home up for sale, abandoning a plan to remodel the 15-acre site in east London that was home to the News of the World newspaper.

News Corp moved its staff out of the giant building between November and April but has also cut the number of its editorial staff and no longer houses its printing presses within the site.

"The majority of News International's Wapping-based editorial and commercial staff have now relocated into Thomas More Square with the remainder to be relocated by the end of 2011," News Corp said in a statement.

"As a result, and in light of current market conditions, News International has decided not to proceed with remodelling the Wapping site."

The company has tried before to sell the site, which will have risen steeply in value since Murdoch bought it in the 1980s.

It abandoned its last attempt in 2008, saying it would move staff from other offices to a remodelled Wapping site. The rumoured price tag was about £200m.

In 1986, thousands of demonstrators clashed with police at the site as part of protests against Murdoch's move to shift his news operations out of Fleet Street.

The move, which saw Murdoch introduce electronic production techniques requiring fewer staff, triggered the dismissal of thousands of workers.

The site is home to The Times and Sunday Times newspapers.