Les Hinton, who headed News Corp.'s News International unit when the phone-hacking allegations roiling the media empire first arose, on Friday will resign his post as chief executive officer of Dow Jones & Co., according to a person familiar with the matter.Hinton is a key figure in the scandal, and his statements before Parliament are in question as to whether he purposefully misled the British government over the scandal, or whether his investigations didn't uncover more malfeasance in News Corp's outlets.
Mr. Hinton had come under increasing scrutiny recently as a cascade of allegations indicated the problems at the center of the scandal were more widespread than he had twice led a parliamentary committee to believe.
In 2007 and 2009, Mr. Hinton told the committee that the company had carried out a full investigation into the matter and was convinced just one of its journalists was involved.
Dow Jones & Co. is publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
He claims ignorance of the matter, but admits that his ignorance is not an excuse.
"I have watched with sorrow from New York as the News of the World story has unfolded," Hinton wrote in a section addressed to Murdoch. "I have seen hundreds of news reports of both actual and alleged misconduct during the time I was executive chairman of News International and responsible for the company. The pain caused to innocent people is unimaginable. That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp, and apologize to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World."Murdoch has issued an apology to his readers/viewers, but apologies aren't going to be sufficient, not when your company has broken multiple laws and possibly across multiple jurisdictions (UK and possibly the US). His company has broken what little trust the public had in his reporting and ethics.
Insufficient heads have rolled, and while I understand his need to contain the problem to the UK outfits, with all the people have have swapped jobs in his organization, it would appear that more head will have to roll to clean up the mess and more will have to be done to set things right.