Hinton Quits His Dow Jones Post after Hacking, Bribery Scandal Spreads

By Ed Silverstein July 18, 2011

Another top executive at News Corp has become a victim to the phone hacking and police bribery scandal plaguing the massive media empire.

Les Hinton, CEO of News Corp.'s Dow Jones division, quit his prominent post on Friday. He is the first American executive to lose his job as a result of the scandal.

Earlier, Hinton was in charge of News Corp’s News International, parent company of The News of the World – the now shuttered tabloid that was the source of the wrongdoing.

The News of the World hacked into the mobile phones of celebrities, crime victims, politicians and the relatives of Britain’s war dead, TechZone360 said.

"That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp, and apologize to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World," Hinton wrote in a letter to News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, that was quoted by MarketWatch.

Hinton was named CEO of Dow Jones & Company in December 2007.

He is far from the only one to leave his position from the scandal.

Scotland Yard Chief Paul Stephenson quit his prominent post Sunday. In addition, Assistant Commissioner John Yates also resigned.

And Rebekah Brooks, a top U.K. executive at News Corp, was detained by Scotland Yard for several hours on Sunday after she resigned from her corporate post, according to a report from TechZone 360.

Brooks was the 10th person detained by police in the phone hacking investigation, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Meanwhile, Murdoch ran ads in U.K. newspapers which offered an apology for the actions by his news organizations.

"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," the ad said. They add there will be "further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused."

The Associated Press reported that News Corp. brought in Edelman Communications, a public relations firm, to assist with lobbying and crisis communications.

In a related matter, the FBI opened a U.S. investigation to see if 9/11 terror victims or their relatives were targeted by News Corp. papers, The AP said.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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