Murdoch: News Corp Will Emerge a Stronger Company

Posted July 19th, 2011 at 10:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Media baron Rupert Murdoch is telling his employees that News Corporation will emerge from the British newspaper phone hacking scandal a “stronger company.”

In an e-mail note to company workers Tuesday, Murdoch said it will take time to rebuild trust and confidence. But he said he is determined to live up to the expectations of stockholders and customers.

Murdoch's message came after a harrowing and humiliating day for the 80-year-old tycoon during which he faced questions from the British Parliament and got a pie in the face from a protester.

He started the three hours of questioning by again apologizing, saying this was the “most humble day” of his life. But he said he is not personally responsible for the scandal. Instead, he blamed those he called the people he trusted to run the newspaper and the people they trusted.

While Murdoch's son, James, was testifying, a protester rushed the table and threw a shaving cream pie at the elder Murdoch. Police identified the pie thrower as comedian Jonnie Marbles. Murdoch was not hurt.

Murdoch shut down the News of the World tabloid last week after 168 years of publication when it was discovered that some of its reporters may have illegally accessed thousands of cellphone voice mails of celebrities, politicians, rival journalists and possibly murder victims.

Some of the reporters allegedly paid police for information.

The scandal has led to the resignations of London's top two police officers, Paul Stephenson and John Yates. Rebekah Brooks, who also testified Tuesday, resigned as head of Murdoch's British operations. British Prime Minister David Cameron's former communications chief, Andy Coulson, who also was a News of the World editor — was arrested.

In the United States, the FBI has begun a probe into whether Murdoch's employees tried to hack into the phones of September 11 terrorist attack victims and their families and tried to bribe police.

Murdoch owns several U.S. news and entertainment outlets, including the country's top business newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, and Fox Broadcasting, a major television network.