Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to Run U.K. Newspaper Ads Apologizing for Phone Hacking
UPDATED: James Murdoch also speaks out on Rebekah Brooks' resignation: "She can be proud of many accomplishments as an executive."
LONDON – James Murdoch issued a statement in the immediate aftermath of the resignation of key London executive Rebekah Brooks from her post at News International chief executive saying he supported her attempts to clear her name.
Murdoch, who chairs BSkyB, described Brooks as “one of the outstanding editors of her generation” and said “we support her as she takes this step to clear her name.”
In his statement he said along with father Rupert Murdoch, everyone involved with News International was working “to solve the problems” relating to the News of the World phone-hacking scandal that saw the paper shut down after more than 160 years of publishing.
“The company has made mistakes,” James Murdoch said. “It is not only receiving appropriate scrutiny, but is also responding to unfair attacks by setting the record straight.
He also said he understands Brooks’ decision to step down. Her exit came after 11 days of constant calls for her to do so.
“I want to thank her for her 22 years of service to the company,” James Murdoch said.
He said the decision to drop News Corporation’s proposals to acquire the shares in BSkyB it does not own “a strong signal that our top priority in the U.K. is to address the issues facing News International.”
He also confirmed Tom Mockridge as the incoming News International CEO, who starts without taking a breath.
Mockridge has served as CEO of Sky Italia since its launch in 2003.
“This weekend, News International will run advertisements in all national newspapers,” Murdoch said. We will apologise 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.”
The ad, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter ahead of its publication, is signed by Rupert Murdoch and reads:
"We Are Sorry. The News of The World was in the business of holding others to account. It
failed when it came to itself. We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out. I realise that simply apologising is not enough.
Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a
positive force in society. We need to live up to this.
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
Murdoch also said he and his father would appear before the CMS [culture, media and sport] select committee “and will speak to them directly about our determination to put things right.”
Read James' full memo to staff after the jump.