According to SEC filings, Rupert Murdoch earned himself a cool $12.5 million bonus this year, while his son James, head of News International, took home $6 million extra, going to show that it is indeed profitable to close print publications. The money likely soothes some of the discord coming out of News Corporation’s ongoing phone-hacking scandal, which saw yet another arrest today ahead of the upcoming High Court inquiry. In the coming weeks, the Murdoch men in charge will be called to testify again about their knowledge of the scandal, only this time they’ll be under oath.
Meanwhile, Matthew Freud, the PR-man husband of Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth, gets the profile treatment from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, precisely because he’s been so good at keeping his name from being mentioned in talk of the media empire’s disgrace. In fact, his public relations savvy and legendary London Rolodex could position his wife perfectly as the heir to Rupert’s power should James be required to take an actual fall. “The Murdochs in London are a Matthew Freud creation,” said media man Michael Wolff, who literally wrote the book on Rupert. “It was Matthew who promoted these people into this incredibly rarefied status and built the social circle around them. He turned them into the Kennedys of London.” Speaking of Camelot: Imagine what would be in those cellphones.
Update: For now, James Murdoch is doing “the right thing,” he said in a statement. “In light of the current controversy surrounding News of the World, I have declined the bonus that the company chose to award to me.” He’ll still earn over $11 million on the year. The rest is in the will.