Sunday, June 7, 2020

CHIEF OF MURDOCH’S NEWS INTERNATIONAL QUITS UNDER FIRE

July 15, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Rebekah Brooks

Rupert Murdoch’s efforts to limit the damage to his media empire from the telephone hacking scandal that has engulfed News International, the umbrella group for his British news operations, suffered a new setback today (Friday) when Rebekah Brooks resigned as News International’s CEO. Arriving in London last week, Murdoch immediately met with Brooks, who was the editor of News of the World, the NI tabloid at the center of the scandal, when much of the alleged illegal hacking took place. Emerging from the meeting with his arm around Brooks, Murdoch was asked by a reporter what his first priority was. Pointing to Brooks, he replied, “This one.” Some critics have indeed suggested that Murdoch’s decision to shut down the 168-year-old tabloid was intended to protect Brooks — that he could have saved it by allowing her to resign and take responsibility for the publication’s misdeeds. In fact, news reports said today that she had offered her resignation when she met with Murdoch last week but that he had refused it. In her own statement today, Brooks said, “While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.” She went on to remark that she realized that by remaining as head of the company, she was distracting it from its “honest endeavors to fix the problems of the past.” She nevertheless vowed to “concentrate on … rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive.” While James Murdoch, who heads News Corp’s overseas operations, issued a statement thanking Brooks and saying that the company intends to “support her as she takes this step to clear her name,” reports emerged that his sister Elisabeth may have played a significant role in forcing her to step down. The London Daily Telegraph described Elisabeth Murdoch as “furious” over the way Brooks had handled the scandal and had told friends that Brooks had “f***** the company.” The leaders of all three British political parties had also called for Brooks to step down. Today Prime Minister David Cameron said that her resignation was “the right decision.” Ed Miliband, head of the opposition Labor Party, posted a similar comment on Twitter. In his statement today, James Murdoch also announced that News Corp has purchased ads in all of the U.K.’s newspapers this weekend in which “we will apologize to the nation for what has happened. We will follow this up in the future with communications about the actions we have taken to address the wrongdoing that occurred.”