Murdoch apologizes for ‘serious wrongdoing that occurred’

Joe Pompeo
Media Reporter
The Cutline

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."
The letter concludes: "I realise that simply apologizing is not enough. ... In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us." Subsequent advertisements elaborating on this are expected to appear in British papers Sunday and Monday.

Murdoch has also apologized in person to the family of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old murder victim whose phone was hacked by News of the World journalists in 2002.

According to a statement the family's attorney provided to the BBC: "He was humbled, shaken and sincere. This was something that had hit him on a personal level. He apologised many times and held his head in his hands."

Murdoch and his son James are scheduled to testify before Parliament next week as part of the governing body's probe of the phone hacking. Earlier today, Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of News of the World at the time the Milly Dowler hacking occurred, resigned from her post as chief executive of News International, News Corp's British publishing arm.