Rupert Murdoch Apologizes … and Plays Down the Scandal. Also, WSJ Publisher, Who Ran News Corp’s U.K. Operations During the 2006 Phone Hacks, Resigns. He’s the Second Top News Corp. to Resign Today

Jul 15, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Updated on July 15, 2011 at 7 p.m., PT to clarify headline about WSJ publisher resigning and providce link in body of story to earlier resignation today of News Corp. executive Rebekah Brooks.

Rupert Murdoch opened up to The Wall Street Journal — which is owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. — about how the company has handled the crisis over alleged phone hacking at its U.K. newspaper division, saying News Corp. has handled the situation "extremely well in every way possible" with just "minor mistakes."

(Note that The WSJ is behind a paywall and the story may not be accessible to all readers.)

Murdoch, who is in Britain to deal with the crisis, said the damage to the company from the scandal is "nothing that will not be recovered. We have a reputation of great good works in this country.”

In a separate report, Murdoch revealed plans to run a personal apology in Saturday’s editions of U.K. newspapers, with the headline, “We are sorry,” ABC News said.

The statement, signed by Murdoch, reads in part: “We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out. … In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.”

The apology represents a turnaround from the less apologetic tone of the WSJ report just a day or two earlier. The 80-year old Murdoch said in the Journal story that he was "just getting annoyed" by negative headlines.

Murdoch also met Friday with the family of murder victim Milly Dowler, the focal point of phone-hacking allegations that provoked outrage in the U.K. He reportedly apologized personally to the family for the actions of journalists working for his papers.

In another development in the widening scandal, The New York Times reported Friday that Les Hinton, Publisher of The Wall Street Journal and CEO of Dow Jones, resigned from his post. .As previously reported, earlier today another top News Corp. executive, Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News Corp.’s British newspaper operations, resigned. She was the edtior of The News of the World when phone hacking took place in 2006. She has denied knowing about the hacking.

Hinton, who has been with News Corp. for more than 50 years, is the former editor of News of the World, the paper at the center of the phone-hacking scandal. He ran News International, the British newspaper division of News Corp., from 1995-2007 and was at the helm when the alleged phone hacking took place.

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