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Posts Tagged ‘James Murdoch’

News Corp. Hires Two More Firms, Gets PR Help from Wendi

Photo: AP

News Corp. has hired two more firms to help with the fallout of the scandal — Sard Verbinnen & Co. and Glover Park Group. Glover Park will help with government relations and Sard Verbinnen specializes in IR and crisis situations. Bloomberg notes that News Corp. stock has taken a hit since the beginning of the month.

The assessments of the Murdochs’ appearance before a Parliamentary group yesterday keep rolling in, and the unexpected interruption from a protester wielding a shaving cream pie is adding an angle to how the News Corp. leaders fared. (He explains why he did it in The Guardian.)

MarketingWeek says that Rupert Murdoch has not been nearly humble enough in the lead up to yesterday’s testimony. And while Rupert did begin his comments by calling yesterday “the most humble day of my career,” he ultimately denied responsibility for anything that has happened. He added that he wouldn’t resign and called himself “the best person to see it through” even though he says court settlements and other payments were happening without his knowledge and he seemed clueless when asked about actions taken by News of the World journalists, many who have been arrested.
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Now That’s a Statement! Pies, Punches, and More from the News Corp. Scandal

Because this scandal needed more drama, someone assaulted Rupert Murdoch with a “pie” made out of shaving cream as he (and his son) spoke today before a Parliamentary committee today. Word from CNN is the assailant called Rupert a “greedy billionaire” before the hurling started. The hearing has since resumed with Rebekah Brooks speaking now and Rupert unharmed.

If you didn’t know it before, now it’s now abundantly clear that there’s palpable anger out there against News Corp. Before the hearing even began, The Wall Street Journal wrote, “At stake is both the reputation of a global empire—which has 51,000 employees and annual revenue of $32 billion—and the level of support that the Murdoch family, particularly Rupert and his son James, will have among investors.”

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News Corp. Response Missteps Are Adding Up

Rebekah Brooks has resigned.

News Corp.‘s troubles related to the ongoing investigation into phone-hacking allegations continue to mount. The company’s response to the crisis can now be added to the list of problems.

Rupert Murdoch finally decided to make public comments about the situation, to his own newspaper The Wall Street Journal, of course. Among his thoughts: News Corp. has handled the scandal “extremely well in every way possible”; the negative media is making him “annoyed”; and he defended the speed of his son James’ reaction to the scandal, which has been percolating for years.

The article makes it sound like Murdoch is wearing a set of blinders big enough to block sunlight entirely.

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How at Risk Is Rupert Murdoch’s Reputation?

Rupert Murdoch might like us to believe his decision to abruptly shutter Britain’s best-selling but scandal-plagued News of the World was solely a matter of journalism ethics, “to prevent a situation like this from happening again.” Not in any News Corps.’ newsroom, it won’t.

Rupert Murdoch during his News of the World takeover in the late '60s.

Not to belittle his dedication to high-quality reporting, but it seems Murdoch also had his own interests in mind. Facing the most potentially damaging PR debacle of his six-decade career, Murdoch made the drastic move to contain financial and political fallout (and quell public outrage) before it overtook his global empire.

“It’s like the most radical cancer surgery,” Julia Hobsbawm, a media analyst with the firm Editorial Intelligence, told the Los Angeles Times. ”It is an astonishing moment in British media history.”

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Revolving Door: ‘In the Arena,’ ‘News of the World,’ ‘WaPo,’ and More

Two big media names have gotten the ax.

Eliot Spitzer‘s comeback vehicle In The Arena was cancelled. CNN’s evening schedule has already been reworked and Spitzer said his final good-byes last night.

And today we have bombshell news that Sunday’s issue of News of the World will be the paper’s last. The British outlet, which has been publishing for 168 years and is currently owned by News Corp., has succumbed to the pressures of an ongoing investigation into allegations that the paper is tied a phone hacking scandal involving a 13-year-old murdered girl and families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Guardian has the complete statement, which was delivered by James Murdoch, News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer, Rupert’s son, and the person next in line for News Corp. leadership.

Also news today that kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart is joining ABC News, working on stories involving missing persons.

Click through for more of this week’s media changes.

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Revolving Door: Thrillist, AOL, News Corp, and More

Here are this week’s media highlights from Mediabistro’s Revolving Door Newsletter:

Richard Blakeley has been named managing editor of strategy & content at Thrillist. He had been editor-in-chief at Gawker.TV. (release)

Ting Wang has been named manager, corporate events at AOL Inc. She had been manager, event marketing at Fairchild Fashion Group (Conde Nast). (mb)

James Murdoch has been named deputy chief operating officer and chairman and CEO, International at News Corp. He had been chief executive and chairman of the international there. (FBNY)

David Lieberman has been named executive editor at Deadline.com. He had been business reporter at USA Today. (FBLA)

Alexandra Kotur has been named creative director at Town & Country. She had been style director at Vogue. (mb)

Click here to receive mediabistro.com’s Revolving Door Newsletter via email.

The Inner Workings of News Corporation PR

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Did longtime News Corporation executive and top communications adviser Gary Ginsberg recently leave the company because he botched the PR handling around Michael Wolff‘s book on Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Owns the News?

That’s what Gabriel Sherman reports in a New York magazine cover story on Murdoch this week — titled “The Raging Septuagenarian,” — that contains enough PR angles to make your head spin. Sherman reports:

Last year, soon after the Wolff book was published, James [Murdoch] told Rupert that he wanted Ginsberg out. Rupert resisted his son’s effort to manage personnel. But when Ginsberg got word from his friend [PR executive Matthew] Freud that his job was in doubt, he offered Rupert his resignation, despite having just signed a new five-year contract. Rupert didn’t resist and paid Ginsberg millions to go.

One source with knowledge of the matter that we spoke to acknowledged that Ginsberg and Freud lost some trust with Murdoch after handling the PR for Wolff’s book. “Matthew [Freud] thought he could manage anybody,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the story contains this bomb from David Yelland, former editor of Murdoch’s London tabloid the Sun, Weber Shandwick alum, and now a partner with the high powered communications and lobbying firm Brunswick Group:

Once he [Rupert Murdoch] does pass, it will be very difficult to keep the company together. I almost wonder if he senses that and, toward the end of his life, we’ll suddenly wake up one morning and we’ll see an announcement he’s taking it private, or merge it with Google, or Microsoft, or [Liberty Media's chairman] John Malone.

Go ahead, take some time and read the full story here.

RELATED: Gary Ginsberg Joins Time Warner; Will Oversee Marketing and Corporate Comm.

Ailes Bites Back: Freud ‘Needs to See a Psychiatrist’

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Fox News Founder and Chairman Roger Ailes has shot back at PR executive Matthew Freud, husband of Rupert Murdoch‘s daughter Elisabeth, after Freud said in a New York Times profile piece highlighting Ailes’ accomplishments at Fox News that he is “ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes‘s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards…”

Of course, that set off a mini-firestorm in the media world, with allegations that Murdoch’s family is trying to push Ailes out of News Corp. and that his job could be in jeopardy. Both Elisabeth Murdoch and James Murdoch have since reached out to Ailes, according to the LA Times.

Ailes joked that Freud, who is a descendant of Sigmund Freud, “needs to see a psychiatrist.”

Interestingly, some of the most “pro-Freud” commentary on the matter comes from The Daily Beast, a publication which Freud once counted as a client. Freud also represents Fox News competitor CNN.

Based on the LA Times story — which contains strong support for Ailes from News Corp. deputy chairman Chase Carey — and a conversation PRNewser had with a source close to the matter, it is evident that clearly some Murdoch family members want Ailes out, but rumors of his job not being secure are greatly exaggerated.

Our source told us that because Fox News has “real clout,” the Murdoch kids “are intimidated by that” and “want [Ailes] out because of his success.” Now, the “loyal opposition has a voice,” and “this is all about positioning to Rupert as opposed to Ailes.”

The “feud” also involves one of PR’s most powerful agencies, Rubenstein, who represents News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch personally, as well as the News Corp.-owned New York Post.

With the opening shot fired, and the rebuttal now in place, we’ll be keeping an eye on who makes the next move.

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