ink-stained wretches

More Bad News for News Corp.

Yesterday brought fresh headaches for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., still reeling from the phone hacking scandal that has already cost it the lucrative News of the World tabloid, reshuffled the Murdoch family’s succession plan, led to a US investigation, and seen over a dozen reporters and editors arrested. Now, Neville Thurlbeck, NotW’s chief reporter, and one of the men picked up in the initial round of phone hacking-related arrests, has said that he plans to reveal the names of higher-ups who actually signed off on the paper’s illicit phone-tapping program. Thurlbeck plans to drop his bombshell(s) as part of the wrongful-dismissal suit he’s already filed against News International, News Corp.’s British newspaper division. (Surprisingly, he was only fired this past month, despite being one of the very first people fingered in the investigation.) In the statement released Friday, he wrote:

There is so much I could have said publicly to the detriment of News International but so far have chosen not to. At the length, truth will out.

But not all the company’s ailments are related to how it (illegally) scooped the competition, or even how it (illegally) dominated the in-store advertising business. Its highly-profitable TV and movie entertainment arm, Fox, has been struggling to find its footing as a new fall season takes off with two of its biggest television projects—sci-fi-meets-Jurassic-Park show Terra Nova and Simon Cowell’s supposed Idol-killer The X Factor—both underwhelming in early weeks. Even Glee, that musical powerhouse, has seen its ratings and billboard performance take a hit, with its concert movie a resounding flop. Just another bad-to-worse weekend for News Corp.’s upper management, who by now must be getting used to those.

British Reporter Says He’ll Name Names in Phone Hacking Scandal [NYT]
Analysis: Fox wounded, but not because of News Corp crisis [Reuters]

More Bad News for News Corp.