Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has questioned the “sense of proportion” and time taken by police investigating phone-hacking claims in a letter to MPs.
He retracted accusations made on a secret tape recording that police were “totally incompetent” but said the length of time police were taking between arresting and charging suspects had led to suicide attempts.
Murdoch was responding to a request from Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz to explain the recorded comments, which he believed he was making in private to journalists from his Sun newspaper.
“I accept that I used the wrong adjectives to voice my frustration over the course of the police investigation,” wrote the 82-year-old businessman in a letter.
“I am in no position to judge the competence of the investigation and should never have done so.”
But he later criticised the manpower and time being consumed by investigations into behaviour at his News International titles.
“My own lay view is that it has been more than thorough, indeed it has in some respects appeared to be excessive,” he argued.
“My own personal view is that this has gone on too long.
“I cannot endorse the judgement that the investigation has ‘progressed’ very well, not when some of our employees were arrested early in the investigation in 2012 and their families are still in limbo”.
Murdoch said that the stress on families had led to “suicide attempts and medical conditions”.
Vaz welcomed Murdoch’s “acceptance that he used the wrong words to describe the police investigation and his explanation of why he did so.”
“I am glad that he has confirmed he does not think the police investigations are incompetent,” he added.
He also echoed Murdoch’s fears about the cost of the investigation, which so far stands at ??20.3million ($30.9 million, 23.5 million euros).
On the recording, the tycoon appears to call the probes into phone hacking and bribery by his journalists a “disgrace”.
He was speaking in March at a meeting with journalists at his top-selling British tabloid The Sun, where he also appeared to suggest that reporters jailed as a result of the probe could get their jobs back.
According to the tape obtained by the Exaro investigative website and released by Channel 4 news, Murdoch said his News Corporation made a “mistake” in handing over so much information to police.
Murdoch shut down his top-selling News of the World tabloid in July 2011 after it emerged the weekly had illegally accessed the voicemails of hundreds of public figures, including murdered teenager Milly Dowler.
Hauled before British MPs to explain himself over the scandal, Murdoch apologised and said “this is the most humble day of my life”.
But in the meeting this year, which was apparently secretly recorded by one of his own journalists, Murdoch was defiant, railing against the ongoing police investigations into hacking and the alleged bribery of public officials.
He has divided New York-based News Corp since the hacking scandal into two companies separating the television and film business and the newspaper and publishing arm.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News
By Kris Zane
It was creepy to say the least; and it was reported the Obama administration was in hysterics, with something like fifty million people seeing that particular episode.
Of course, no one honestly thinks Obama is Satan; but the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Last week, the hacker known as Guccifer released a March 21, 2012 email hacked from the account of Colin Powell, an email sent from Andrew Knight, former director of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire News Corp and now working for the Rothchild banking conglomerate. In the email, Knight urges Powell to encourage Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to attend the playground of the elite, the Bohemian Grove—long known to take part in an occult ceremony called the Cremation of Care, where members wearing red-hooded robes cremate a coffin effigy at the base of an idol they call Moloch. Conspiracy theorist giant Alex Jones infiltrated the Bohemian Grove in 2000 and videotaped the ceremony, where a mock human sacrifice was offered to a god known as Moloch.
Of course, this is the exact kind of ceremony that Satanists take part in, substituting Moloch for Satan himself.
The Bohemian Grove has been called the American version of the Bilderberg Group, a secret gathering of the rich and powerful to decide how the world will be run. The June 2008 Bilderberg meeting at the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly, Virginia was secretly attended by Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Mysteriously—or not so mysteriously—Clinton shortly thereafter dropped out of the race, obviously Barack Obama being the candidate of the globalists. And if you look very carefully at the mainstream media coverage shortly after the Bilderberg meeting that began on June 6, almost to the day, the mainstream media switched from supporting Clinton to Obama. For example, Politifact, the go-to source for hit jobs on political opponents, ran a smear piece June 3 comparing Obama to Bush. On June 12, Obama released his so-called short-form birth certificate, which was immediately deemed a fraud. But who do you think began defending Obama almost to the day after the Bilderberg meeting? Politifact. For example, on June 13, Politifact began running articles backing Obama’s phony birth certificate and continued to belch out a stream of articles defending Obama on every front.
The Bohemian Grove is a much different breed than its Bilderberg cousin, held in Monte Rio, California a month after the Bilderberg soirée. Only males are admitted, with reports of male prostitutes that “service” the attendees.
The Cremation of Care ritual always takes place—and guess who was rumored to be there? Barack Hussein Obama—although the black hood portrayed in The Bible …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism
For a company once known more for writing the tabloids in Britain than featuring in them, News Corp. now finds itself in the awkward position of having its name splashed across headlines in the UK. Troubles began for the media conglomerate owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch two years ago after it was uncovered that one of the company’s most successful newspapers, News of the World, hacked the mobile phone of a murdered school girl. Since then, allegations continue to emerge that the company routinely bribed UK public officials for information and illegally hacked into mobile phones of celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Members of Parliament. The company has reportedly spent $350 million to date on investigations mounted by UK and US authorities. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest
* Former officials guilty of passing information to papers
* Four now convicted since launch of phone-hacking inquiry
By Michael Holden
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) – Two former policemen and an ex-prison officer were jailed on Wednesday for selling stories to Rupert Murdoch‘s tabloid the Sun, Britain’s top-selling newspaper.
The three men were convicted as part of a wide-ranging police investigation begun two years ago into claims journalists from Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World newspaper had hacked into mobile phone voicemail messages.
That inquiry has led to dozens of arrests of current and former staff at News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch’s News Corp., and has been widened to examine claims of illegal payments to public officials.
The long-running scandal forced the closure of the News of the World and has called into question the judgment of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was friends with several of Murdoch’s senior executives.
Richard Trunkfield, 31, who worked at a high-security prison in central England, gave information to the Sun about Jon Venables, who was aged 10 when he and another child killed a toddler in 1993 in one of the most infamous murders in Britain in recent times.
The prison officer, who had contact with a Sun journalist between 10 and 15 times, receiving 3,500 pounds ($5,300)in the process, was handed a 16-month jail sentence at London‘s Southwark Crown Court.
“It is most assuredly not for individual prison officers to take it upon themselves to contact the press to reveal information about a defendant in circumstances such as those before the court today, still less to enrich themselves in the process,” said the judge, Justice Adrian Fulford.
Alan Tierney, 40, an ex-police constable based in Surrey to the south of London, was paid 1,250 pounds for details of the arrest of former England soccer captain John Terry‘s mother on suspicion of shoplifting, and the arrest of Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood, …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post
By Paul Sandle
LONDON (Reuters) – Got a tech idea and want to make a fortune before you’re out of your teens? Just do it, is the advice of the London schoolboy who’s just sold his smartphone news app to Yahoo for a reported $30 million.
The money is there, just waiting for clever new moves, said 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio, who can point to a roster of early backers for his Summly app that includes Yoko Ono and Rupert Murdoch.
“If you have a good idea, or you think there’s a gap in the market, just go out and launch it because there are investors across the world right now looking for companies to invest in,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview late on Monday.
The terms of the sale, four months after Summly was launched for the iPhone, have not been disclosed and D’Aloisio, who is still studying for school exams while joining Yahoo as its youngest employee, was not saying. But technology blog AllThingsD said Yahoo paid roughly $30 million.
D’Aloisio said he was the majority owner of Summly and would now invest the money from the sale, though his age imposes legal limits for now on his access to it.
“I’m happy with that and working with my parents to go through that whole process,” he said.
D’Aloisio, who lives in the prosperous London suburb of Wimbledon, highlights the support of family and school, which gave him time off, but also, critically, the ideas that came with enthusiastic financial backers.
He had first dreamt up the mobile software while revising for a history exam two years ago, going on to create a prototype of the app that distils news stories into chunks of text readable on small smartphone screens.
He was inspired, he said, by the frustrating experience of trawling through Google searches and separate websites to find information when revising for the test.
Trimit was an early version of the app, which is powered by an algorithm that automatically boils down articles to about 400 characters. It caught the eye of Horizons Ventures, a venture …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post
By Evann Gastaldo America’s biggest oil baron could soon be setting another record—but this one’s not so good. Harold Hamm‘s second wife, Sue Ann Hamm, filed for divorce last year, and the financial settlement could end up trumping the $1.7 billion current record-holder Rupert Murdoch paid ex-wife Anna in 1999, Reuters… …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Newser – Home
By Andrew Osborn
LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Media mogul Rupert Murdoch sharply criticised British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday for agreeing tougher press regulation, saying the new system was a “holy mess” and that Cameron had disappointed his supporters.
Cameron struck a surprise deal on Monday with his junior coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, and the opposition Labour party, that will allow a new regulator to be set up with the powers to levy large fines on newspapers and oblige them to print prominent apologies where appropriate.
“UK holy mess with Internet unworkably included,” Murdoch wrote on social media site Twitter on Thursday. “Cameron showing true colors shocking many supporters.”
The Sun newspaper, which is owned by News Corp, of which Murdoch is the chairman and chief executive officer, also delivered a front-page critique on Thursday of the government‘s annual budget.
“Budget coverage as approved by the Ministry of Truth,” it quipped, referring to the fictional Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s “1984” novel about a totalitarian state.
Cameron acted to strengthen regulation of the press following public anger over phone hacking by some tabloid newspapers, including Murdoch’s now defunct News of the World, and after a judge-led inquiry showed how widespread it was.
He had previously said he didn’t think it was necessary to enshrine the new system of self-regulation in law, but agreed to allow parliament to approve two amendments as part of a compromise, which he said strengthened the new system, but which press critics said undermined freedom of expression.
The system will be voluntary, but there will be strong financial incentives to encourage news media to opt into it.
Politicians from across the political spectrum backed it as did a group representing victims of newspaper phone hacking.
But some of the country’s biggest press groups have signalled they are unhappy and are still considering how to respond, with some talking of a boycott, a legal challenge, or …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post
The deputy editor at The Sun tabloid in Britain has been charged with authorizing thousands of pounds (dollars) in illegal payoffs to government officials, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The charges against Geoff Webster are latest in a drumbeat of criminal charges against employees of Rupert Murdoch‘s media empire.
Scores of journalists — most of them British employees of Murdoch’s New York-based News Corp. — have been involved in a wide-ranging scandal over phone hacking, police bribery, and a host of other media misdeeds. The scandal has spawned a series of overlapping investigations and was the impetus for a controversial plan to install a tough new U.K. media regulator with unprecedented powers.
News International, Murdoch’s London-based unit responsible for publishing The Sun, confirmed that Webster is still an employee of the tabloid but had no immediate comment on the charges.
In a statement, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said Webster was accused of authorizing a 6,500 pound (nearly $10,000) payment to an unidentified public official in return for information given to an unidentified Sun employee between July 2010 and August 2011. That was right around the time when rumblings about the phone hacking scandal were beginning to emerge.
A second charge relates to a similar but smaller payment made in November 2010.
Webster joins a small but growing list of senior journalists at The Sun who are facing prosecution over illegal payments and other crimes.
In January, the paper’s defense editor, Virginia Wheeler, was charged along with Constable Paul Flattley with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
Flattley is accused of receiving 6,450 pounds between 2008 and 2011 for information on “accidents, incidents and crimes” — including details about the death of a teenage girl.
Webster is due to appear at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 26.
British investigators have found hundreds more potential phone-hacking victims of Rupert Murdoch‘s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, a victim’s lawyer said Monday.
Lawyer Hugh Tomlinson made the announcement at Britain’s High Court during legal arguments related to the lawsuits against News of the World publisher News International. Tomlinson did not go into much detail, but hundreds of extra victims could translate into millions of extra damages for the UK newspaper company.
The phone hacking scandal has greatly damaged the reputation of the British tabloid press, which has been found to have hacked into the voicemails of celebrities, politicians, crime victims and others. Murdoch’s company has already paid millions of pounds in settlements, and a national outcry forced British politicians to promise action to make the medial more responsible.
At a court hearing Monday, a lawyer said journalists at The Sun newspaper — another Murdoch title — harvested data from a lawmaker’s stolen phone.
Lawyer David Sherborne said parliamentarian Siobhain McDonagh has accepted substantial but undisclosed damages from the newspaper after her cellphone was stolen from a parked car in 2010. Her text messages had later been accessed by The Sun, Sherborne said.
News International lawyer Dinah Rose acknowledged that The Sun was guilty of “serious misuse of her private information.”
The revelations of new victims came only hours after British politicians announced they struck a last-minute deal over press regulation, unveiling a new code meant to curb the worst abuses of the country’s scandal-tarred media.
The code follows days of heated debate over how to implement the recommendations of Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who held an inquiry that aimed to clean up a newspaper industry plunged into crisis by revelations of widespread phone hacking.
Victims’ groups have lobbied for an independent watchdog whose powers are enshrined in law but media groups have said that threatens press freedom.
The deal struck early Monday appears to be a complicated compromise.
“I think we have got an agreement which protects the freedom of the press, that is incredibly important in a democracy, but also protects the rights of people not to have their lives turned upside down,” senior opposition leader Harriet Harman told broadcaster ITV.
Unlike the U.K.’s widely discredited Press Complaints Commission, which barely bothered to investigate allegations of phone hacking before the scandal broke, the new regulator being proposed by politicians would be independent of the media and would have the power to force newspapers to print prominent apologies.
Submitting to the regulatory regime would be optional, but media groups staying outside the system could risk substantial fines if they get stories wrong.
And rather than being established through a new press law, which advocates of Britain’s media have described as unacceptable, the regulatory body would be created through a Royal Charter, a kind of executive order whose history stretches back to medieval times. Adding to the complexity, a law would be passed to prevent ministers from tweaking the system after the fact.
This could get very ugly, very fast. The Koch brothers are reportedly considering a bid for the Tribune Company newspapers — focusing on the crown jewels of the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune, or at least what jewels of power are left in the flailing newspaper industry — but they may face stiff competition in the form of a debt-free, full pocketed media power player named Rupert Murdoch.
L.A. Weekly’s Hillel Aron reports “multiple sources” claiming Charles and David Koch will offer to buy the Tribune Co. slate of papers — including the Times, the Trib, the Baltimore Sun, and five other papers — or maybe just offer to buy all of Tribune Co. outright. If the notoriously free-spending political heavyweights and brothers in industry choose to go for the whole company — and, importantly, if their offer is taken seriously and ends up bailing out the papers — their purchase would also include 20 television stations along with the eight papers. The Tribune Co. emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2012 and has been looking to unload their newspaper holdings, apparently as part of a single-package deal, according to Bloomberg’s Edmund Lee. Any buyer interested in Tribune’s Co.’s newspapers will have to cough up a cool $600 million to acquire the whole lot — not exactly a lot to the Koch brothers, who spent untold hundreds of millions on the 2012 election… and weren’t too pleased with their return on investment.
What makes the L.A. Weekly report all the more exciting — if a little far fetched — is the looming giant in the wings: Murdoch has been eyeing the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune for months now. It’s been reported that Murdoch “covets” the Times as a potential addition to his empire of more than 175 newspapers. There were reports of his interest as far back as last June. Then there were dueling reports of Murdochian interest in the Times, in particular, in October: one from the Times itself, and another from Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal. This was described by Daily Intel’s Joe Coscarelli as “media mogul equivalent of flirting.” In December, Murdoch was planning “to take a close look at Tribune Co.’s newspaper assets once they’re available,” Bloomberg’s Lee reported.
Read More at The Atlantic . By Connor Simpson.
Photo credit: World Economic Forum (Creative Commons)
Filed under: Media
by Jon Friedman
There is enough room in the global sports-TV world to accommodate both media-industry superpowers.
Fox Sports 1 will launch in approximately 90 million U.S. households as opposed to the 99 million on ESPN and ESPN2. Fox Sports 1′s daily 11:00 p.m. Fox Sports Live show will challenge ESPN‘s traditional meal-ticket SportsCenter.
Perhaps Rupert Murdoch‘s greatest triumph, the Fox News Channel – steered brilliantly by Roger Ailes all through these years – has spoiled all of us when we take a critical eye to Fox Sports 1′s prospects. It helps to recall that it took FNC many years to establish itself and still more to surpass Time Warner’s (NYSE: TWX) CNN, which it surely did. Fox News, which holds a stranglehold on the cable news ratings, didn’t dominate the industry overnight. But it has been No. 1 in the ratings for so long that we automatically assume it was born in the top spot.
So, don’t look for Fox Sports 1 to crush ESPN on day one. Or even on day two or three, either. These things take time, you know.
“Our hope is that we can be equally professional” with ESPN, noted David Hill to the members of the media. Hill directed Fox Sports when it debuted two decades ago and will lead the new venture. “It’s going to take us a while,” he conceded. “We’re not expecting to knock ESPN off in the first week or two. It’s going to take two or three years. It will be a slog.”
News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA)will point proudly to its great success in cable news. “But Fox execs conveniently left out its failed attempt in the 1990s to create national sports TV programming, led on-air by then-ESPN refugee Keith Olbermann,” pointed out USA Today Sports.
The narrow-minded members of the media would like us to believe that the smackdown between ESPN, the crown jewel of Walt Disney Co., and Fox Sports 1, Rupert Murdoch‘s new baby, which launches on Aug. 17, will be – or has to be, anyway – some sort of a bloodsport between News Corp and Walt Disney. The two companies will compete furiously – naturally – but there are enough programming opportunities to go around.
We’ll get an idea of News Corp.’s commitment when it bids for the broadcasting rights to show college basketball games. The new Fox entity could also try to acquire the rights to Thursday night National Football League games (though these didn’t exactly set the world on fire last season). Murdoch’s operation may also ultimately attempt to outbid the competition for the National Basketball Association showcase.
A successful launch will boost the stock–market prospects of Fox Sports 1′s parent company. Wall Street relishes splashy new products and likes to reward companies for show is of great ambition. Stock-pickers turn thumbs down on companies that either can’t or won’t launch new ideas. Rupert Murdoch has historically been a maverick …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance
LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) – An ex-policeman and a prison officer admitted on Friday to selling information to the Sun, a British tabloid newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, in the first guilty pleas to come out of a huge police investigation into wrongdoing by journalists.
Former police officer Alan Tierney pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office for selling stories about the mother of England soccer player John Terry and about Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood, the Press Association (PA) reported.
Prison officer Richard Trunkfield pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in public office for selling information about a high-profile prisoner, the PA reported.
The charges against the pair stemmed from an inquiry launched in January 2011 into allegations journalists from Murdoch’s now defunct News of the World newspaper had hacked voicemails of mobile phones.
That inquiry was later widened to include other illegal activities, including payments to public officials for stories.
By Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes Staff Liberty Global announced late Tuesday that it had reached an agreement to acquire Virgin Media for an enterprise value of $23.3 billion. The deal pits billionaire John Malone against Rupert Murdoch, with Liberty Group entering Europe’s largest pay-TV markets, directly challenging British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) and other Murdoch holdings. It’s also the second large deal of the day involving a billionaire, after reports indicated Michael Dell orchestrated a deal to take the namesake company private.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch died Wednesday surrounded by her family at her home at Cruden Farm in Australia. She was 103 years old.
Dame Elisabeth, with her husband Sir Keith Murdoch, was a mother to four children, including Rupert Murdoch, Anne Kantor and Janet Calvert-Jones. Her eldest daughter, Helen Handbury, died in 2004.
Additionally, Dame Elisabeth is survived by 77 direct descendents, including 50 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.
Dame Elisabeth devoted her life to helping others and was a supporter of countless causes.
Rupert Murdoch released a statement on behalf of the family:
“We have lost the most wonderful mother but we are all grateful to have had her love and wisdom for so many years. … Throughout her life, our mother demonstrated the very best qualities of true public service. Her energy and personal commitment made our country a more hopeful place and she will be missed by many.”
Source: Fox World News