News International to Sell U.K. HQ

Sale of Wapping site 'a break with the past'

Rupert Murdoch’s News International is selling its headquarters in Wapping, East London, where the company has been based for the last 25 years. Staff from The Sun, The Times, and The Sunday Times will relocate to the nearby Thomas More Square.

The Wapping site was also home to the now-defunct News of the World, which was at the center of the phone hacking scandal. Murdoch-owned Sky News describes the sale as “another symbolic break with the past."

The move was announced in an email to company staff on Monday, according to the Guardian. "Taking into account the current property market and economic climate, we have decided to sell rather than redevelop the site,” said the internal announcement. It added that the company “will remain in the TMS [Thomas More Square] buildings for the foreseeable future."

News International bought the 15-acre Wapping site in 1985, marking a significant shift away from Fleet Street, the traditional home of the British press. The move prompted a fierce trade union dispute, as the publisher embraced electronic production that led to the loss of thousands of jobs.

The Wall Street Journal—another Murdoch title—notes that the company initially had plans to redevelop the site, which in 2008 was valued at around £200 million ($324.34 million).