News International has again quashed rumours of an imminent move of its titles from Wapping to Canary Wharf, where five other rival newspapers already have a home.
Last week, rumour was rife that during Rupert Murdoch’s most recent visit to this country he had given the OK for the move.
But corporate affairs manager Janet Anderson told Press Gazette: "We haven’t made any secret of the fact that we always look for new opportunities but no decision has been made. There are no concrete plans for now."
Certainly a sale of the Wapping plant at today’s high property prices would mink-line Murdoch’s coffers, but the move is not expected for some years. It is not high on his agenda, say insiders.
When he does move, he would want all his British newspaper operations together in a new location and may well look at a custom-built site. And this may well not be Canary Wharf – Murdoch is said not to be keen on the idea of having his newspapers and the Mirror titles in close proximity.
Richard Desmond, Express Newspapers boss, who is planning to move his three titles out of Ludgate House, is also thought to be looking at property in central London – possibly "in or close to Fleet Street", according to sources.
By Jean Morgan