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Glenn Halbrooks

Phone-Hacking Scandal Brings More Changes to News Corp.

By March 4, 2012

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The phone-hacking scandal that brought the end to News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid newspaper in the U.K. was one of the top 10 media stories of 2011. Now, new developments are having an impact on his empire this year as well.

A photo of the Sun on Sunday newspaper
The Sun on Sunday is picking up where News of the World left off in the News Corp. newspaper empire.
Photo © Getty Images
First, Murdoch's The Sun has just launched a Sunday edition, called The Sun on Sunday, in the hopes of recapturing some readers of News of the World. According to Time magazine, Murdoch tweeted that this first edition sold three million copies.

You may remember that when News of the World stopped publishing in the wake of the scandal last year, it was the largest-selling paper in Great Britain, with more than two million readers. So shutting it down may have been a necessary public relations move for the mammoth media corporation, but it was not easy. Trying to convince loyal readers to switch to a Sunday edition of The Sun is understandable.

News of the World was accused of hacking into the phones of people, and bribing police officers to get information. These accusations would be unheard of in U.S. journalism.

The new Sunday newspaper isn't the only change at News Corp. It's been announced that James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's son, is stepping down as an executive with News International, which is the News Corp. division that runs the company's U.K. newspapers. So clearly the fallout from last year's scandal has not stopped.

James Murdoch won't be leaving the company to wait tables. Instead, he'll focus on pay television and international businesses. That sounds as though he'll be leaving decisions on journalism to others.

Rupert Murdoch remains one of the 10 media people to watch in 2012. After being called to testify to British Parliament about the scandal, it will be interesting to see how he maneuvers his company, which includes The Wall Street Journal and the Fox television networks in the U.S., to keep from damaging its reputation or his any further.

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