Britain's bestselling Sunday tabloid the News of the World signed off with a simple front page message: "THANK YOU & GOODBYE," leaving the media establishment here reeling from the expanding phone-hacking scandal that brought down the muckraking newspaper after 168 years.
Journalists crafted the newspaper's own obituary before sending the tabloid's final edition to the printing presses Saturday night, apologizing for letting its readers down but stopping short of acknowledging recent allegations that staff paid police for information.
"We praised high standards, we demanded high standards but, as we are now only too painfully aware, for a period of a few years up to 2006 some who worked for us, or in our name, fell shamefully short of those standards," reads a message posted on the tabloid's website. "Quite simply, we lost our way. Phones were hacked, and for that this newspaper is truly sorry."
Rupert Murdoch, whose media empire owns the paper, arrived in London on Sunday.
Buying the News of the World in 1969 gave Australian-born Murdoch his first foothold in Britain's media. He went on to snap up several other titles, gaining almost unparalleled influence in British politics through the far-reaching power of his papers' headlines.
Now he is facing a maelstrom of criticism and outrage over the sequence of events set off by allegations the paper's journalists paid police for information and hacked into the voicemails of young murder victims and the grieving families of dead soldiers.