News Corp: Fox is Shaken Up While Rebekah Brooks is Shaken Down
News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS) (NASDAQ: NWSA), the diversified global media company, has promoted Peter Rice as Chairman and CEO of the Fox Networks Group before splitting into two separate companies in 2013.
Benzinga reported in June that News Corp was planning to separate its publishing arm from its entertainment division. In preparation, the company is making a few decisive changes.
Fox Sports CEO David Hill will take the bigger role of Senior Executive Vice President. According to Reuters, Rice's job will now have him overseeing sports, Fox broadcasting and the company's international and cable networks.
The company will be desperate to divert attention towards the forthcoming split and away from the ongoing phone hacking court case which has tainted News Corp's name for over a year. The Daily Mail revealed Tuesday that former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson will be charged for allegedly hacking into the phone of murder victim Milly Dowler.
By allegedly hacking into Dowler's phone, the two former News Corp employees effectively interfered with the investigation because after discovering that her phone account had been accessed, the police and Dowler's parents believed her to be alive.
Others facing charges include private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup.
Brooks remains adamant that she is innocent, saying in a statement that, "I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorize, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship. I am distressed and angry that the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] have reached this decision when they knew all the facts and were in a position to stop the case at this stage. The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting, not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime."
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal claims that other British newspapers are part of the phone hacking investigation, including Express Newspapers and the Trinity Mirror.
"We take any accusation against the company very seriously and we are co-operating with the police on this matter. We remain engaged with the Leveson Inquiry," Trinity Mirror PLC said in a statement.
On Tuesday morning News Corp traded at about $22, up roughly 0.3 percent.
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