News Corp. Plans Layoffs Amid More Phone-Hacking Testimony [Updated]


News Corp.’s phone-hacking scandal is a nightmare that won’t end as testimony continues today in front of a parliamentary committee and layoffs hit the company’s British newspaper group simultaneously. Former News of the World editor Colin Myler and top lawyer Tom Crone will be two of the executives questioned by politicians still attempting to figure out whether News Corp. bosses — Rupert and James Murdoch, specifically — have misled them, and how the company investigated and potentially covered up journalistic wrongdoing. Depending on evidence presented today, the Murdochs could be called to testify again, and that’s in addition to their date to tell all under oath. “The hearing could be damaging for James,” said Mark Lewis, a lawyer for many of the phone-hacking victims. “[I]t could effectively finish his career.” But as James is in limbo, lower level jobs are already being eliminated as News International announced today that it will be cutting more than 100 jobs this year, referring euphemistically to the ongoing scandal as “an extremely testing time” for employees. You think?

Update: The likelihood that James Murdoch will be called to testify again has increased, as expected, with today’s testimony. Crone, the former legal manager at News of the World, continues to insist that he described to Murdoch an email that explained the extent of the company’s phone-hacking practices. Myler, the paper’s former editor, concurred with Crone’s story, while Murdoch denied that version of events again in a statement: “Neither Mr. Myler nor Mr. Crone told me that wrongdoing extended beyond [arrested phone-hackers] Mr. Goodman or Mr. Mulcaire,” he said. “As I said in my testimony, there was nothing discussed in the meeting that led me to believe that a further investigation was necessary.”

News Corp. Again Under Phone-Hack Spotlight [WSJ]
Phone-Hacking Lawyer Lewis Says Hearing Could End James Murdoch’s Career [Bloomberg]
Murdoch’s UK newspaper group to cut 110 jobs [Reuters]