Les Hinton Resigns After Hacking Scandal

Jul 15, 2011, 17:29 by Sarah Long

Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton Friday added his resignation to that of News International CEO Rebekah Brooks in News Corp.'s phone-hacking scandal.

Hinton, who led News Corp.'s News International segment when the scandal first came to light, told News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch in his resignation letter that while he was "ignorant" of the misconduct, he nonetheless thought it "proper for me to resign from News Corp," The Wall Street Journal reported.

Murdoch Friday apologized for the phone-hacking scandal that led to the demise of his British tabloid News of the World.

He also met with the mother of the murdered teenager whose phone allegedly was hacked by News of the World staffers and said he was "appalled when I found out what had happened," CNN reported.

"We are sorry," Murdoch said in an ad to be run in British newspapers this weekend, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself," he said.

"We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected."

CNN said Murdoch met with relatives of Milly Dowler, 13, and "of course, I apologized."

Investigators said they have identified some 4,000 potential phone-hacking targets.

The apology followed Brooks' resignation but preceded Hinton's.

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 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 the Dowler incident, 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