Bloomberg News

News International Says Legal Manager Crone Has Left Company

July 13, 2011

(Updates with James Murdoch’s comments in sixth paragraph.)

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper unit legal manager Tom Crone has left the company following the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World tabloid.

Crone, who was involved in editorial matters at both the News of the World and The Sun newspaper, left today, said News International spokeswoman Daisy Dunlop via phone.

At a parliamentary hearing in July 2009, Crone said he advised News International to pay a 700,000-pound ($1.1 million) settlement to phone hacking victim and soccer executive Gordon Taylor. Dunlop said today Crone wasn’t available for comment.

News Corp., based in New York, faces a vote later today by U.K. lawmakers demanding its bid for pay-TV broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc be scrapped after accusations that News of the World journalists hacked into the phones of a murdered schoolgirl and paid police for stories.

The former News of the World Editor Colin Myler told a committee of lawmakers that he and Crone advised James Murdoch to make the payment to Taylor, CEO of the Professional Footballers Association, in 2008 in return for a non-disclosure agreement. The three agreed to settle the case out of court. Only James Murdoch now remains with the company. He is the son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, 80.

James, 38, is deputy chief operating officer of News Corp. and since 2007 has overseen News International, the unit operating the U.K. newspapers.

In a note to employees to announce the closure of the News of the World, James Murdoch said he didn’t “have a complete picture” before approving the settlement to Taylor. “That was wrong and is a matter of serious regret.”

--Editors: Simon Thiel, Robert Valpuesta.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Browning in London jbrowning9@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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