After days of saturating the airwaves, the News of the World scandal seems to have come to a natural break in what will no doubt become even more of a saga. The last edition has been printed, sold and framed (it marks, after all the end of an era for journalism). But one might rightfully ask what next? What lies ahead for the Murdoch Empire, The Sun, The Times and Sunday Times, and the key figures involved in the charade? 

To begin with, I wonder whether the hacking story is going to impact the other papers under the News International umbrella: The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun. Will advertisers pull out of these publications for fear of being associated with a controversial brand? If that happens, can these papers survive such a blow?

One solution New International might be considering at this stage is to print The Sun on Sundays as well. This would fill the gap left by the axing of News of the World. However, the much needed advertising money coming from huge international companies might not be there to support the new venture. 

With regard to the lead actors involved in the drama, Andy Coulson has suffered the most so far. After being incarcerated and questioned by the police, some of his PR agency’s high profile clients have already decided to desert the firm, according to PR Week. 

Rebekah Brooks, who was at the helm of the newspaper when the scandal broke, emerged untouched, even when Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said Brooks should "consider her position" after the Milly Dowler allegations. Prime Minister David Cameron said that if Brooks had offered her resignation to him, he would have accepted it. Yet she kept her job when hundreds lost theirs. 

David Cameroon’s image, as well as that of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown also suffered. Cameron had previously employed Coulson as Head of Communications, whereas Brown was allegedly involved in a questionable real-estate deal, which has been thrown back into the public glare this week.  

And what about the Murdochs, you ask? Well, they’ll be just fine. After the public outrage cools down, Rupert will probably continue with his plans to acquire the rest of BSkyB, making him one of the most powerful media men who ever lived. 

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