NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch will fly to London on Saturday to deal with the escalating phone-hacking crisis engulfing his British newspapers business, according to two people familiar with the plans.
Murdoch, 80, will be arriving two days after his surprise decision to shut down the News of the World, the best-selling Sunday tabloid at the center of the scandal.
News Corp declined to comment on his agenda.
British police on Friday arrested Andy Coulson, the former spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron, who had resigned as News of the World's editor in 2007 after one of his reporters and a private investigator were convicted of hacking into phones of members of the royal family. Coulson has said he knew nothing about the phone hacking.
The scandal reached a tipping point earlier this week when it was revealed that in 2002 the paper had hacked the voice mail of Milly Dowler, a missing teenager who was later found murdered.
Murdoch will be keen to save News Corp's bid to buy the 61 percent of broadcaster BSkyB, which it does not already own. Analysts and investors said the deal could be jeopardized if British regulators impose tougher rules in response to new concerns around News Corp's dominance in British media.
Murdoch, who had spent most of the week at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, has kept a low-profile since the scandal erupted. On Thursday morning he refused to answer journalists' questions on the matter referring them to a Wednesday statement in support of News International chief Rebekah Brooks.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke in New York and Georgina Prodhan in London; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)