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News Corp. execs don't admit role in phone hacking

by Gary Stauss and Traci Watson
Publication: USA Today

July 20, 2011


It had all the elements of one of Rupert Murdoch's Fox TV hits: drama, suspense, action — even a dose of comic relief.

But at the end of the day, the British parliamentary hearing on the scandal threatening Murdoch's grip on media powerhouse News Corp. may have been more about keeping the self-made billionaire's corporate House in order than cause for Glee.

"This is the most humble day of my career. To say I'm sorry is not enough," Murdoch said under protracted grilling by Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which is investigating beleaguered News Corp. because of its News of the World, the now-shuttered tabloid that hacked phone messages of British politicians, celebrities and crime victims to scoop competitors. World staffers have also been accused of paying off British police officers for news tips. Scotland Yard's two top officials resigned this week in the fallout.

Tuesday's hearing underscored Murdoch's effort to avoid direct responsibility for the scandal and a steadfast resolve to remain CEO and chairman of New York-based News Corp. It also provided a crisis management showcase for son James, the heir apparent whose succession plans had been in doubt since the scandal began pummeling News Corp.'s stock, undermined merger deals and prompted the resignations of several top executives.

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Story also appeared in American Chronicle and The Tennessean.