Blog Posts by Joe Pompeo

  • FIRST CUTS: Murdoch on the menu; New media innovators

    Our list of stories that should be on your morning media menu:

    • Bloomberg reported Monday night that News Corp. was considering promoting COO chief Chase Carey to replace Rupert Murdoch as CEO should the latter executive step down from that role. (Bloomberg)

    • Rival wire Reuters then reported that "News Corp independent directors are fully behind Rupert Murdoch." (Reuters)

    • Will James Murdoch survive the scandal? And how he got to where he is today. (Wall Street Journal)

    • Tuesday's parliamentary testimony by Rupert Murdoch "is the culmination of a 40-year love-hate power struggle between the News Corp. chief and Britain's public and politicians." (Wall Street Journal)

    • Murdoch's careful selection of his advisers. (Wall Street Journal)

    • New York mag christens 21 "new media innovators." (New York)

    • Desk-space tension at Gawker Media. (New York Observer)

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  • Where to follow the phone-hacking saga

    News International Headquarters (AP)For the media-obsessed, the fallout over allegations of phone hacking and other improprieties within News Corp.'s British annex has become a must follow. But with an overarching narrative that seems to take a new twist or turn every five minutes, the hacking saga can also be devilishly hard to keep track of.

    Fortunately, in the age of 24/7 digital micro-coverage, plenty of journalists out there have been keeping tabs on every latest development.

    If liveblogs are your preferred format, head to the Guardian. The U.K. broadsheet--a Murdoch-baiting competitor to the News Corp. newspaper empire--has broken more news on the phone-hacking saga than perhaps any other news organization. So it's no surprise that the Guardian's live-blog, refreshed about 10 times an hour, reflects the paper's in-depth coverage.

    The Huffington Post's new U.K. site has been doing some thorough real-time reporting as well, as has Reuters. The latter's live-blog, written by Anthony DeRosa, includes a full complement of Twitter-generated content--as you'd expect would be the case from a guy who was recently named social media editor at the news service.

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  • In latest twist, News of the World whistleblower is dead

    Recent photo of Hoare. (Guardian)In case you need any convincing that the U.K. phone-hacking mess has all the elements of some seedy soap opera or film noir, there's this: Sean Hoare, the former News of the World reporter who has repeatedly blown the whistle on some of the now-shuttered tabloid's past misdeeds, is dead.

    "At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after," British police told The Guardian in a statement. "The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."

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  • Wall Street Journal comes under fire for defiant phone-hack op-ed


    On day 12 of the latest and most treacherous chapter in News Corp.'s six-year-old phone hacking saga, one of the company's most venerable properties finds itself in the cross hairs.

    The fallout began around 9 p.m. Sunday night, shortly after a defensive and defiant editorial from Monday's Wall Street Journal hit the web.

    The thousand-word opinion piece does include a condemnation of the British tabloid reporters whose criminal journalistic practices--the widespread hacking of voicemail accounts and bribery payments to the British police--have brought the U.K. division of Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate to its knees. But the fiery missive, complete with take-downs of London law enforcement and the paper's peers on Fleet Street, is hardly a mea culpa.

    "Our competitors are using the phone-hacking years ago at a British corner of News Corp. to assail the Journal, and perhaps injure press freedom in general," it begins.

    And so began the backlash.

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  • FIRST CUTS: The latest phone hacking chatter; Sharpton to MSNBC?

    Our list of stories that should be on your morning media menu:

    • Former News International chief Rebekah Brooks was released on bail Monday after being questioned by London police for her possible involvement in the phone hacking at News of the World. (Reuters)

    • The Wall Street Journal is defending itself and its former publisher, Les Hinton, who resided Friday as the scandal intensified. (WSJ)

    • David Carr: "[News Corp.] may be hoping that it can get back to business now that some of the responsible parties have been held to account — and that people will see the incident as an aberrant byproduct of the world of British tabloids. But ... the damage is likely to continue to mount." (NYT)

    • Ken Auletta: "Murdoch's influence with government officials here and abroad will not help him escape this time." (The New Yorker/News Desk)

    • Unnamed Rupert Murdoch associates have some grim words for the embattled mogul. (The Wrap)

    • How journalists are using Google+. (Mashable)

    • CNN and HLN live

    Read More »from FIRST CUTS: The latest phone hacking chatter; Sharpton to MSNBC?
  • Murdoch apologizes for ‘serious wrongdoing that occurred’

    (AP)Aside from an interview with the Wall Street Journal Thursday, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch remained mostly silent this week as the U.K. phone-hacking scandal engulfed his media empire.

    Perhaps he was busy composing his mea culpa.

    "The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself," Murdoch says in an apology letter that will run as an ad in Saturday's Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, Sun and Times. "We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out."

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  • Rebekah Brooks resigns amid phone hacking scandal, but doesn’t admit guilt

    Rebekah Brooks leaves the News International offices on July 7, 2011. (AP/Matt Dunham)

    The U.K. phone-hacking episode has claimed its latest--and perhaps inevitable--casualty.

    Rebekah Brooks, the besieged chief executive of News Corp.'s scandal-tainted British publishing operation, has resigned. Her exit comes just one week after the company announced it was shuttering the top-selling tabloid she once edited, News of the World, in a futile effort to contain the fast-spreading fallout over the paper's criminal information-gathering methods.

    "As chief executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place," Brooks wrote in a letter to staff that was obtained by The Guardian and other news outlets Friday morning.

    "I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate," she continued. "This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past. Therefore I have given [News Corp. chairman] Rupert and [his son] James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted."

    The development is a significant blow to Murdoch, not only because Brooks, 43, was something of a daughter figure for the 80-year-old mogul, who defended her in the press upon arriving in London on Sunday. Murdoch's headaches have continued to mount since the saga began to snowball last week. British Parliament is now aggressively probing the growing allegations of illegal privacy invasions by News International journalists, and Rupert and James have been called to testify before the body next week.

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  • Looks like the White House went after Fox News in 2009 after all

    Roger Ailes (Jim Cooper/AP)As the U.K. phone-hacking scandal continues to engulf News Corp's British segment, one of the company's top-performing assets in the U.S. is enjoying a bit of unrelated vindication.

    Rewind to October 2009: Fox News Channel and the White House were at war. In one particularly heated incident, Fox claimed the Obama administration had tried to oust the "fair & balanced" network from an interview with Treasury official Kenneth Feinberg, when the other four news nets in the TV coverage pool had been offered access. In the end, Fox was included, and a Treasury Department spokesman snarled: "There was no plot to exclude Fox News, and they had the same interview that their competitors did. Much ado about absolutely nothing."

    Emails that surfaced last week, however, through a public records request by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, suggest otherwise.

    Read More »from Looks like the White House went after Fox News in 2009 after all
  • FIRST CUTS: Spotlight on Murdoch, Hinton; MSNBC turns 15

    Our list of stories that should be on your morning media menu:

    • In his first significant public statements on the latest phone-hacking developments, Rupert Murdoch defended News Corp.'s handling of the situation. (WSJ)

    • Jeremy Peters profiles former News International and current Dow Jones chief Les Hinton. (NYT)

    • No known phone hacking at the New York Post, but journalists who used to work there say there's been Facebook hacking and other ethical lapses at the tabloid. (Adweek)

    • How the newsweeklies are handling hack coverage. (WWD)

    • Jeff Bercovici chatted with MSNBC head Phil Griffin to mark the network's 15th anniversary. (Forbes)

    • Meet Katie Couric's digital media strategist. (HuffPo)

    Read More »from FIRST CUTS: Spotlight on Murdoch, Hinton; MSNBC turns 15
  • Billy Bragg’s anti-serenade to News Corp.

    We realize you may very well have tired by now of keeping track of every twist and turn in the fast-moving News Corp. phone-hacking scandal. (In the latest development, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said that reports claiming he may sell off his British newspaper assets are "Pure and total rubbish.")

    So if you need a break from the headlines--or, conversely, if you haven't been following along and could use a quick explainer--allow lefty British folk-punk singer-songwriter Billy Bragg to serenade you with an earnest acoustic treatment of the saga. Sample lyric: "Someone's hiding in the bushes with a telephone or lens / While their editor assures them the means justify the ends."

    You can enjoy Bragg's tune, "Never Buy the Sun," in the video above.

    [Hat tip: Jack Shafer]

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