Murdoch fallout spreads: Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton resigns

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, July 15, 2011 16:14 EDT
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Les Hinton, the chief operating officer of Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, is resigning, the newspaper’s website said late Friday.

Word of Hinton’s resignation comes amid an unprecedented wave of scandals that has rocked News Corporation’s British newspaper holdings, forcing the resignation of News International CEO Rebekah Brooks earlier this morning.

Hinton is the former chief of News International, which oversees global media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers.

As one of Murdoch’s top deputies for over 50 years, Hinton oversaw the News Corp. subsidiary while a number of its papers were allegedly engaging in phone hacking and bribery, targeting British officials, celebrities, terrorist attack victims, the families of dead soldiers and others.

He’s on record as claiming just one of the company’s journalists was responsible for the phone hacking, which he allegedly determined after an internal investigation.

“Let me emphasize one point – News Corporation is not Rupert Murdoch,” Murdoch wrote in a memo to Dow Jones employees. “It is the collective creativity and effort of many thousands of people around the world, and few individuals have given more to this company than Les Hinton.”

“I want you all to know the pride and pleasure I have taken working at Dow Jones for the past three-and-a-half years. I have never been with better, more dedicated people, or had more fun in a job,” Hinton wrote in his resignation letter.

U.S. officials with the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation have formally launched investigations into the New York-based News Corp. to determine whether any of its employees targeted U.S. citizens or officials in their schemes.

British officials were already investigating the firm. Australia, where Murdoch was formerly a citizen and still has business interests, said it too is considering launching an investigation.

So far, nine arrests have been made by British police.

Updated from a prior version and corrected to reflect the number of arrests.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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