Rebekah Brooks Resigns Amid News of the World Phone Hacking Scandal

Jul 15, 2011, 09:23 by R.E. Christian

News International Chief Executive Officer Rebekah Brooks resigned, the British company confirmed, amid pressure as a phone-hacking scandal grew.

In a statement Brooks said she felt a "deep responsibility for the people we have hurt," the BBC reported Friday.

News International, the British subsidy of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. media empire, was the publisher of the defunct weekly tabloid News of the World, which was shuttered Sunday after it was learned it hacked phone records of public and private citizens.

Tom Mockridge will replace Brooks, effective immediately. He ran News Corp.'s Italian broadcasting unit.

Brooks was editor of the News of the World when the phone hacking occurred, including a hack of the phone of murder victim Milly Dowler, the BBC said. In the United States, the FBI is investigating reports News Corp. tried to hack the phones of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Brooks said she wanted to repeat "how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place."

News Corp. chairman Murdoch and his son James, News Corp.'s top official in Europe, agreed to appear before a House of Commons committee to answer British lawmakers' questions on the scandal next week .

In a message to News International staff, James Murdoch praised Brooks as an outstanding editor who "can be proud of many accomplishments as an executive."

"We support her as she takes this step to clear her name," he said.

The younger Murdoch said News Corp. planned to use national ads during the weekend to apologize for News of the World's actions.

"We are also sending letters to our commercial partners with an update on the actions we are taking," he said. "The company has made mistakes. It is not only receiving appropriate scrutiny, but is also responding to unfair attacks by setting the record straight."

Earlier this week, News Corp. withdrew its bid to take over British Sky Broadcasting, saying the current climate made it difficult to pursue the deal.

Source: UPI