In April, following campaigning by the NS and the industry, a revised Local Authority Publicity Code came into effect to crack down on council newspapers. In July, The News of The World was closed after 168 years of publication. The Prime Minister announced an inquiry led by Lord Justice Leveson into the role of the press and police in the phone-hacking scandal. In October, Lord Hunt of Wirral was appointed chairman of the Press Complaints Commission.
Five regional daily titles switched to weekly during the year. Local cross media ownership rules were abolished. Kent Messenger Group’s proposed acquisition of seven Northcliffeweekly titles was referred to the Competition Commission by the OFT forcing the deal to be abandoned. Northcliffe Media announced the subsequent closure of Medway News and the East Kent Gazette.