Murdoch Enters Damage-Control Mode

As the mounting scandal at the News of the World threatened to bring his company’s reputation to a new low Thursday, Rupert Murdoch went into damage-control mode. He has typically responded to scandals by waiting out the criticism or quickly moving to contain the damage, The New York Times reports. Before Thursday, the scandal’s impact on the company’s stock price had been minimal—only 17 percent of News Corp.’s revenue comes from publishing, and the News of the World is only one of the many successful papers the company publishes in Britain. But it was becoming clear that sordid details emerging about the News of the World could jeopardize British government approval of News Corp.’s complete takeover of the satellite-TV company BSkyB. Murdoch convened what some called a “war council” in Idaho, where he was attending a media conference with his wife. Speaking about the scandal for the first time, he said the News of the World’s practices had been “deplorable and unacceptable.”