Facing 200 furious journalists, Brooks said there were at least two painful years ahead leading to the decision to shut the paper from tomorrow.
It had been anticipated Brooks would announce her resignation in the hours before the meeting but she told staff at the tabloid that she was staying on at News International “because she is a conductor for it all”.
Paying tribute to the “talented and untainted” staff at the News of the World, Ms Brooks said the decision to close the paper was taken because there could be another “two years plus” of trouble, according to former News of the World journalist Sophy Ridge.
The Sky News political correspondent tweeted: “Rebekah Brooks said that advertisers said the brand was ‘toxic’, I’m hearing, and the decision ‘was not done lightly’.”
Ms Ridge also wrote that Ms Brooks said she was “trying to find them jobs where possible across News International and News Corp”.
Ms Brooks “apologised to staff for ‘operational issues’ ie email access”, Ms Ridge added. The staffs’ work email accounts were frozen throughout the day.
According to Sky News, she told employees: “You may be angry with me, I understand, but I’m angry with the people who did this [hacking] and feel bitterly betrayed”.
According to NOTW employees Brooks promised a “quick decision” on the possible introduction of a seven-day Sun newspaper.
But she told staff she was “not going to print the News of the World under a different masthead”.
She told staff she had “visibility” about worse revelations relating to criminal activity and said: “In a year you will understand why we made this decision.”