Wall Street Journal Europe’s Publisher Resigns After Scandal

The revelation that the News Corp. owned paper cut a deal with a Netherlands company that resulted in news coverage leads to the executive’s departure.

Another executive working for a News Corp.-owned European newspaper has resigned under a cloud of scandal, however it's unrelated to the phone hacking case ongoing in England.

The New York Times reports Andrew Langhoff, managing director of Dow Jones & Co.'s European, African and Middle East operations (a unit of News Corp.) and the publisher of the Wall Street Journal Europe, has vacated his post immediately. The resignation came after it was discovered that the paper's circulation department had struck a deal with the Netherlands-based consulting firm Executive Learning Partnership that resulted in two articles being written in the Wall Street Journal Europe's Special Report section.

In an e-mail to his staff Langhoff said, "Because the agreement could leave the impression that news coverage can be influenced by commercial relationships, as publisher with executive oversight, I believe that my resignation is now the most honorable course."

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The newspaper published a clarification to readers on Wednesday that described the facts behind the origination of the stories and explained that the "reporting and writing were solely the responsibility of the News Department. However, any action that creates an impression that news coverage can be influenced by commercial interests is a breach of the ethical standards of Dow Jones & Co."

Langhoff's resignation was another dark spot in News Corp's ongoing troubles in Europe. On the same day as Langhoff's resignation, British authorities confirmed that a former Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal publisher, Les Hinton, would be made to testify in the phone-hacking scandal that resulted in Murdoch shuttering the newspaper News of the World.

Hinton, who resigned from the company in July, was previously head of News International and oversaw News Corp.'s European papers during the time of the alleged phone hacking.

The company is currently searching for a replacement for Langhoff, with senior vice president and head of strategy Kelly Leach overseeing the region in the interim.