New twists in News Corp. scandal

The Takeaway

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Three of Britain’s most powerful media executives face questioning this morning over the phone hacking scandal that has already resulted in the shuttering of a newspaper and a spate of high profile arrests and resignations. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and his son James are set to appear before Parliament with Rebekah Brooks, who headed their British newspaper operations before resigning last week.

The hearings come the day after a News Corp. whistleblower was found dead in his home, and hackers posted an article announcing Murdoch’s death on News Corp. sites.

The media tycoon is at a crossroads, with many of his top deputies implicated in the scandal that has engulfed his media empire and left his company’s reputation in tatters. Murdoch has long been a controversial figure, but the questions surrounding his leadership of News Corp. and the corporate culture it has engendered have come under new fire in light of the phone hacking affair.

Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners and former publisher of Rolling Stone, questions the governance at News Corp., which he says appears to be “nonexistent.”

“One could ask where are the independent directors on the board of News Corp., who are responsible, intelligent and very experienced people,” Bibb told The Takeaway. “You haven’t heard one word from any of them, and yet they have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders — who by the way, have lost more than $8 billion dollars in market value in their investment in News Corp.”

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“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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