UPDATED: The UK parliamentary committee charged with looking into the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s now-shuttered News Of The World released its findings this morning. Shortly thereafter, News Corp said it was “carefully reviewing” the report. In today’s earlier statement it also said: “The Company fully acknowledges significant wrongdoing at News Of The World and apologizes to everyone whose privacy was invaded.” Below is News Corp’s latest response:
NEW YORK, NY – May 1, 2012 — Hard truths have emerged from the Select Committee Report: that there was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World; that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive; and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009.
News Corporation regrets, however, that the Select Committee’s analysis of the factual record was followed by some commentary that we, and indeed several members of the committee, consider unjustified and highly partisan. These remarks divided the members along party lines.
We have already confronted and have acted on the failings documented in the Report: we have conducted internal reviews of operations at newspapers in the United Kingdom and indeed around the world, far beyond anything asked of us by the Metropolitan Police; we have volunteered any evidence of apparent wrongdoing to the authorities; and, we have instituted sweeping changes in our internal controls and our compliance programs on a world-wide basis, to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again anywhere at News Corporation.
As we move forward, our goal is to make certain that in every corner of the globe, our company acts in a manner of which our 50,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of shareholders can be justly proud.
Related: UK Committee’s Phone-Hacking Report Chooses Words Carefully: Analysis
Almost 50 new civil claims have been filed in the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper division. In London this morning, Hugh Tomlinson, the attorney representing a large part of the claimants said he had 44 … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has learned that American legal action in the News Corp phone-hacking scandal could come as early as the end of this week. UK lawyer Mark Lewis, one of the first to pursue allegations of hacking at the now-defunct News Corp-controlled News Of The World tabloid, will hold a press conference in Manhattan with his U.S. colleague Norman Siegel, former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union. A source close to the lawyers’ camp says the duo will announce what actions — legal and otherwise — it plans to take against Rupert Murdoch’s empire in the U.S. We are told that no names will be given regarding the three stateside hacking cases Lewis and Siegel are contemplating. However, we have learned that despite speculation neither David Beckham, nor Jude Law (nor one of his associates), nor Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell are among potential litigants. “People are getting the names completely wrong,” the insider says. One of the individuals is, however, an American citizen. The lawsuits would be the first to be filed in the U.S., where News Corp has so far limited its exposure to the ongoing hacking investigations in Britain.
Related: UK Lawyer Poised To Target Murdoch In U.S. With Celeb Phone-Hacking Suits Read More »
Richard Horton, a detective who formerly penned an anonymous police blog, filed suit on April 11 in London against Times Newspapers Ltd, a unit of News Corp’s News International, Bloomberg reports. Horton was exposed by The Times as … Read More »
The embattled News Corp scion’s decision over his future as chairman of BSkyB is balancing on a “fine line,” The Daily Telegraph reports. Murdoch’s position will become tenuous if Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee censures him for not fully investigating the phone hacking … Read More »
This is sure to add fuel to Wall Street’s hopeful speculation that News Corp might sell its scandal plagued UK newspapers. Deputy COO James Murdoch, Rupert’s son, has wiped the ink off his hands by resigning from the boards of the company’s UK print operations, according to multiple news reports citing News Corp filings at Companies House, which regulates corporate activities. He left Times Newspaper Holdings — the institution that was supposed to protect the independence of the Times of London and the Sunday Times when Rupert Murdoch bought them in 1981 — as well as News Corporation Investments and News International Publications Limited. These moves follow James’ resignation last month from the executive chairman job at News International, which oversees the UK print operations. He said at the time that the decision made sense following his move to New York to expand “my commitment to News Corporation’s international television businesses and other key initiatives across the Company.” Murdoch has also Read More »
The News Corp Deputy COO, and son of CEO Rupert Murdoch, is holding fast to his position that others are to blame for the News Of The World hacking scandal — as well as his company’s effort to downplay the extent of the lawbreaking when executives testified to Parliament about the matter in 2009. ”It would have been better if I had not relied on the people who had assured me that thorough investigations had been carried out and that further investigations were unnecessary,” he said in a seven-page defense sent Monday to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Murdoch sent the letter, released today, as committee members prepare to decide whether he and other News International executives misled Parliament in 2009 when they said that phone hacking was limited to one rogue reporter. Murdoch acknowledges that “it would have been better if I had asked more questions, requested more documents and scrutinised them carefully.” But he still points the finger at other execs, especially former legal adviser Tom Crone and former NOTW editor Colin Myler who told Parliament that they warned Murdoch that the scandal was bigger than he had publicly acknowledged. Their testimony ”displays inconsistencies on this subject, while my evidence has always been consistent,” Murdoch writes. Before taking charge of the UK print unit in late 2007 he “did not follow the details” of earlier arrests. Even afterward he was ”never intimately involved with the workings of News Of The World, or any of the other newspapers within News International” in the belief that “a newsroom should be run by the editor.” Read More »
This would make the second time in 8 months the former News Of The World editor has been arrested in connection with … Read More »
UK media say that two unnamed journalists from Rupert Murdoch‘s The Sun tabloid newspaper have attempted to commit suicide. Although details are sketchy and come from unnamed sources, here’s what’s being reported: The Independent newspaper says the people were senior journalists and had recently been arrested (in total, 11 current or former Sun employees have been arrested on suspicions that they bribed police for news tips). The pair has been checked into hospital and News International is paying for their care, according to Financial Times sources. Reuters, citing people close to News International, also reports the journalists appeared to have tried to take their own lives. The Sun is controlled by News Corp’s News International, which has been rocked by a phone-hacking scandal and allegations of illegal payments to public officials for information. News Corp last year established a Management and Standards Committee to oversee an internal probe and has been cooperating with the police in their ongoing investigations. Some Sun journalists were previously reported to be mulling legal action against News International that would claim their right to freedom of expression was breached when evidence about their sources was turned over to investigators, and these latest developments — though they remain unconfirmed — are unlikely to soothe tensions. Read More »
That question seems to intrigue News Corp watchers far more than any debate about succession plans following today’s announcement that Deputy COO James Murdoch is relinquishing his role as executive chairman of the UK publishing unit. News Corp shares are up about 2% at mid-day, a contrast to the overall market which is slightly down. And many believe it’s because James’ departure from the publishing business gives investors a little more reason to hope that Rupert might ditch some or all of his newspapers. He loves the assets, but the Street considers them to be growth-challenged distractions. Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker calls the news about James “one sign” that newspapers “may be spun, sold or otherwise shed.” Yesterday COO Chase Carey said that News Corp recognized such a move might help its stock price, which he says is “woefully undervalued.” But he tried to douse any belief that a plan to unload newspapers is on the company’s front-burner. “Our focus is on managing these businesses and improving profitability,” he said.
Why so little attention to James and his role in the line of succession? It’s now a foregone conclusion that Read More »
He’ll focus on News Corp’s pay TV operations once he moves to New York, the company says. It makes no mention of the fact that under James Murdoch’s watch at News International the UK publishing operation became embroiled in a humongous phone hacking and bribery scandal. But it’s telling that Tom Mockridge, who became CEO of News International in July, will now report to COO Chase Carey — not Murdoch, who retains his title as News Corp’s Deputy COO. Also noteworthy: CEO Rupert Murdoch’s citation of James’ accomplishments doesn’t include his management of UK publishing. James credits the unit’s “tremendous momentum” to ”the leadership of my father and Tom Mockridge.” News Corp has scoffed at speculation that it might dump its troubled newspapers — a move that some investors believe would boost the stock price. “Our focus is on managing these businesses and improving profitability,” Carey told investors yesterday.
Here’s today’s release about James:
New York, NY February 29, 2012 – News Corporation today announced that, following his relocation to the Company’s headquarters in New York, James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, has relinquished his position as Executive Chairman of News International, its UK publishing unit. Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive Officer of News International, will continue in his post and will report to News Corporation President and COO Chase Carey.
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Today brings more potential bad news for Rupert Murdoch’s embattled News International. British Labour Party MP Tom Watson tweeted this morning that the Metropolitan police have confirmed to him they are investigating News International-owned The Times newspaper over email … Read More »
Four current and former staff members of the popular British tabloid The Sun and a policeman were arrested today as part of the continuing investigation into corruption that arose out of phone hacking at News Corp’s shuttered News Of … Read More »
The names of at least 28 employees of News Corp’s U.K. subsidiary appear in notes seized from a private investigator who specialized in phone hacking, the chief counsel for the government’s inquiry into the scandal surrounding News International and the shuttered News of the World tabloid says. “At least 27 other NI employees” in addition to the jailed former royal editor Clive Goodman appear in notes of Glenn Mulcaire, the PI who was also jailed for intercepting voicemails in January 2007. Chief counsel Robert Jay said the number of names that appear scribbled on Mulcaire’s notes “suggests wide-ranging, illegal activity within the organization.” Police also now suspect that phone hacking may have continued until 2009, which would include Murdoch’s tenure that began in 2007. Suspicion of wrongdoing has also spread to another News International paper, the Sun, and to a competitor, the Daily Mirror, whose parent Trinity Mirror’s spokesman said the company has no knowledge of ever using Mulcaire. Read More »
James Murdoch can breathe a little easier, if Parliament’s conclusion about his and former employees’ roles in phone-hacking plays out the way the Guardian predicted Friday. While Murdoch’s MP inquisitors seem inclined to believe the News International chairman’s assertions … Read More »
Here is more fodder for the UK parliamentary committee that is scheduled to hear testimony from News Corp deputy COO James Murdoch on Thursday: It looks like the conglomerate’s now-defunct News of the World hired an investigator to tail … Read More »
News Corp’s UK newspaper arm News International, the company that controlled the now-shuttered tabloid News Of The World, has set up a website for victims of the paper’s admitted phone-hacking scandal to seek compensation rather than go to trial. … Read More »
The Metropolitan Police in London have found a cell phone hidden in the newsroom of News Corp’s now-shuttered News Of The World newspaper that they believe was the one used to hack into hundreds of voicemails. That’s the illegal practice that has ensnared News Corp in a scandal that has been felt all the way to the conglomerate’s board and the Murdoch family that controls it. The Financial Times reports the phone could have been used more than 1,000 times to hack phones between 2004 and 2006, and that it is the first piece of physical evidence that the practice was going on inside the walls of the tabloid. The phone is registered to News International, News Corp’s UK newspaper arm; several ex-News International and NOTW employees have been arrested and questioned in the police’s Operation Weeting investigation. The next big news in the probe could come from James Murdoch, the head of News Corp’s European operations, who is scheduled to re-appear in front of a parliamentary panel November 10. Read More »
UPDATE: Giving evidence to British MPs investigating the News Corp phone-hacking scandal this afternoon via video-link, former Wall Street Journal boss Les Hinton said he saw “no reason” why James Murdoch should resign. Hinton testified that he hasn’t spoken to the Metropolitan police about phone-hacking, nor has Viet Dinh, the independent News Corp board member who’s overseeing the company’s investigation into the scandal, questioned him. Hinton also wasn’t aware of any payments to police or other private detectives working for News International. And he was “not personally involved” in internal investigations into phone hacking at News International, the UK newspaper arm, when he was executive chairman. John Whittingdale, chairman of the UK parliamentary committee cross-examining Hinton, was overheard telling a fellow MP that Hinton’s evidence was “interesting, but that there was no bombshell there.”
PREVIOUS: News Corp deputy COO James Murdoch will face British MPs for a second time on November 10. He will defend himself as to whether he misled British politicians investigating the phone-hacking at the News Of The World. The $64,000 question is this: Did James pay $1.4M in hush money in 2008 to a hacking victim who could have disclosed that the scandal ran much deeper than the company publicly admitted? James said he didn’t. But three former News executives dispute the testimony he gave in July when he last faced MPs. His enemies say either James knew more about hacking than he admitted or, as chairman of UK newspaper arm News International, he ought to have known. Les Hinton, the former Wall Street Journal boss and Rupert Murdoch confidante, has been called to testify today. Read More »