Monday, July 18, 2011

MURDOCH Losing tens of millions a day

Newspapers carrying letters of apology with Murdoch's signature were issued by News International, his empire's UK arm.

He wrote "The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account but failed when it came to itself". The embattled CEO also says they will resolve the issues and make amends for the damage.
Murdoch's original support for Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International, turned out to be a crisis management failure.

He then brought in PR firm Edelman Communications to help calm public fury, and more importantly, to salvage his globe-spanning business.

The scandal has knocked billions off the value of News Corp and forced Murdoch to drop his bid for control of lucrative British Sky Broadcasting.
Murdoch and his son James, who chairs News International, will face angry questions from UK politicians.
And in the US, investigations have also started into claims that News Corporation journalists may have sought to hack the phones of September 11th victims.

Brooks' arrest and Stephenson's resignation come at a critical time for Murdoch.

On Tuesday, British lawmakers are expected to grill the media baron when he testifies in front of Parliament.

Each passing day has brought new revelation in this scandal, and the shock waves are quickly spreading across Murdoch's sprawling empire, which includes television and newspaper properties spanning the globe, and a key stake in the United States.

In turn, Murdoch has had to do some unprecedented damage control.

"I was appalled to find out what had happened and I apologized and I have nothing further to say," said Murdoch.
Earlier this month, it was revealed the girl's voicemail had been allegedly hacked and messages deleted by a reporter from one of Murdoch's papers.

On Friday, Murdoch apologized to the family of Milly Dowler, a teen murdered in 2002. After the meeting, the Dowler family emerged with their lawyer, who described Murdoch's tone as humble.

Last Sunday, Murdoch shut down his profitable tabloid, "The News of the World," mired in allegations of criminal activity. 

"Yes he did apologize. He apologized many times. I don't think somebody could have held their head in their hands and said sorry so many times," said Mark Lewis, the Dowler family's lawyer.

The scandal has even crossed the Atlantic.

Les Hinton, the head of the company that operates the Wall Street Journal, resigned Friday. He was in charge in London when much of the alleged criminal activity took place.

There is also a connection to 9/11: allegations that Murdoch's reporters tried to tap the phones of 9/11 victims in search of yet more sensational headlines.

"Many, many innocent men, women, and children their private tears bought and sold by News International for commercial gain," said Gordon Brown, the former British Prime Minister.

No longer intimidated by Murdoch, British politicians are putting his empire under the microscope.

This week, the government established a judicial inquiry to look at criminal activity, media ethics, and media ownership.

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