Britain's oldest industry will close its doors next month, citing among recent financial constraints, the publics' "Dwindling appetite for scandal".
The Mill, whose vast foundries have forged speculation, manufactured allegation and fabricated gossip for countless mongers since the dawn of man is set to mothball its base of operations and cease idle chit-chat by the end of August, with the loss of 10,000 jobs.
Name-checking Murdoch and the recent NotW closure, its chairman explained. "Losing our biggest customer has naturally been a factor. After all, man cannot live on Sky Sports News alone, but there have been tell-tale signs for quite some time, and - while I don't expect ordinary people to be savvy about the rising cost of tittle-tattle - without ongoing public investment in the product, the spectre of moral bankruptcy was perhaps inevitable.
Economists say the decision will almost certainly precipitate a dramatic withering of grapevines up and down the country. "We simply can't sustain a momentum of baseless hearsay without infrastructure," a little bird informed this correspondent via Twitter. "We'll merely end up feeding on crumbs."
The news will also have a knock-on effect for thousands of related services. Gossip-mongers, Fishwives and Quidnuncs, deemed most at risk by the move, are already planning a march on Parliament. Housewife Tracey Higginbottom, said in a recent statement: "The
business of casual malice and trading of unsubstantiated rumour has been our only means of support since the days before Caesarian scars ran pubis to sternum. The decision to close the mill, therefore, takes away the very meaning from our lives. We will leave no curtain untwitched in the search for a rescue plan."
She then offered some 'juicy titbits' of 'common knowledge' for sale concerning the woman next door and a black man, at which point, our reporter made their excuses and left.
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt believes there could be even worse news to come for the industry worldwide. "Nothing is recession-proof," he said at a recent dinner. "And it'll probably get worse before it gets better. Schadenfreude could well be next and we're already aware that Yin-Yang's future hangs in the balance.