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brands under fire

News Corp. in Crisis: For Murdoch, the Son (and The Sun) Also Rises

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 14, 2011 07:16 PM

Just when it seems that things couldn't get any worse for Rupert Murdoch...

News Corp. is now being investigated by the FBI for allegedly attempting to hack into the phones of 9/11 victims, as the front page of the Wall Street Journal writes this evening. The New York Times also reports that the company has retained a "top criminal defense lawyer," Washington-based attorney Brendan Sullivan, as it faces recriminations in the US.

The media titan and his son James, who oversees News Corp.'s European operations, also reluctantly (after initially refusing, and then being threated with jail) agreed to appear before a British parliamentary panel next week to answer questions about the phone-hacking scandal.

In his first major interview since closing the News of the World — with, naturally, his flagship US publication, the Wall Street Journal — Murdoch defends his son, admits that "minor mistakes" were made, denies that asset sales are under consideration, and rejects claims made by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.Continue reading...

brands under fire

News Corp. in Crisis: In the Wake of $7B Loss, Murdoch's BSkyB Bid Derails

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 12, 2011 07:00 PM

So did News Corp. have a better day today? In a word, no. Some of the challenges rattling the media empire that Rupert Murdoch built:

• Scotland Yard has notified only 170 of 4,000 suspected victims, according to Sue Akers, deputy assistant commissioner of the London Metropolitan police in charge of the phone hacking scandal, at a hearing today. Akers told a group of MPs she’s taking a "very broad" approach to the inquiry in ‘Operation Weeting,’ which is examining 11,000 pages of material containing the names of the 4,000 possible victims. Murdoch has been called before a parliamentary committee to answer questions on the hacking scandal, according to a BBC report, along with his son James and Rebekah Brooks, the CEO of News International.

News Corp.'s BSkyB bid is in trouble, with British politicians crossing party lines to support a motion which reads, "The house believes that it is in the public interest for Murdoch and News Corporation to withdraw their bid for BSkyB." Asked if the government expected News Corp to heed parliament, a spokesperson said: "Ultimately, that is a decision for News Corp but we would always expect people to take seriously what parliament has said." The House of Commons is scheduled to vote on it Wednesday, with Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly backing the motion.Continue reading...

brands under fire

News Corp.'s BSkyB Bid Delayed by Latest Allegations

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 11, 2011 05:00 PM

The closure of the News of the World on Sunday wasn't the end of Rupert Murdoch's media woes.

The homepage of the Guardian (above) shows the latest revelations in the phone-hacking scandal, which has widened to include other Murdoch-owned titles and additional targets, including former British prime minister Gordon Brown (and his family), the Royal Family (with Prince Charles' phone calls to now-wife Camilla believed to be hacked), and the news that News Corp. has withdrawn its plan to spin off Sky News as part of its $12 billion bid to assume control of BSkyB.

That BSkyB bid now faces a potential six-month review in the wake of fresh allegations including the attempted hacking of British 9/11 victims' cellphones to retrieve their final frantic messages, and the revelation by Scotland Yard that Murdoch's Sun reporters ferreted out details about Gordon Brown's disabled son from his medical records, among other crimes.Continue reading...

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