News Corp’s GC Doubles Down on In ­House Challenges (Boehme quoted)

News Corp’s GC Doubles Down on In­ House Challenges

Sue Reisinger – July 9, 2013 – Corporate Counsel

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It wasn’t the best of times to leave a comfortable career as a Big Law partner to take over the law department at News Corporation. Legal tremors had been buffeting Rupert Murdoch’s media empire over a London newspaper’s phone hacking scandal. Then, in early 2011, what had been tremors exploded into a full­blown earthquake. One hacking incident involving a rogue reporter had suddenly escalated into many claims, not only of hacking but of alleged bribing of police officers and of cover­ups. And the allegations scaled the corporate hierarchy to include editors and executives as well.

News Corp. had much at stake. Besides newspapers in the United Kingdom and Australia, it was the parent company of, among others, the Fox television network, the 20th Century Fox film studio, and Dow Jones & Company, including The Wall Street Journal. And in short order, the scandal began to damage its properties. In the U.K., Murdoch shuttered a newspaper and lost an opportunity to expand his company’s stake in the largest pay­TV broadcaster in Britain. Also, shareholder suits attacked News Corp. for its alleged sweetheart acquisition of a television production company belonging to Murdoch’s daughter.  . . .

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