Bloomberg News

News Corp. Said to Take Over Phone-Hacking Swat Team From Unit

July 17, 2011

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. will take over from its U.K. newspaper unit a committee set up to work with police over the widening phone-hacking scandal, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Simon Greenberg, corporate affairs director at the News International U.K. unit, and General Manager Will Lewis will be employed full time by the management and standards committee, which will report to Joel Klein, Murdoch’s top adviser in London, and Viet Dinh on behalf of News Corp.’s independent directors, said the people, who asked not to be identified. An announcement may be made as early as tomorrow, they said.

The move is a step for Murdoch to address a spiralling crisis at the News of the World that has forced the closure of the 168-year-old Sunday tabloid, the resignation of two senior executives and shelved News Corp.’s 7.8 billion pound ($12.6 billion) bid for full ownership of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc. Murdoch and his son, James, who is chairman of News International, has been called on by U.K. politicians over the past two weeks to take responsibility for the crisis.

Alice Macandrew, a News Corp. spokeswoman in London, declined to comment when reached by Bloomberg News.

The committee, which has hired law firm Olswang to examine past failings at the News of the World and recommend systems and practices that should become standards for the industry, will also employee an external chairman, said one of the people.

News Corp. shares have fallen 13 percent since July 4, when allegations spread that employees at the News of the Word hacked into the phones of murder and terrorism victims and paid the police to get stories.

--Editors: Kenneth Wong, Simon Thiel

To contact the reporters responsible for this story: Jonathan Browning in London at jbrowning9@bloomberg.net; Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net; Tariq Panja in London at tpanja@bloomberg.net.

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


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