* Murdoch to talk to analysts, press on call
* Known for off-the-cuff remarks
* News Corp board meets in Los Angeles on Tuesday
NEW YORK, Aug 8 News Corp (NWSA.O) is taking a
brave but necessary step in putting its chief Rupert Murdoch,
known for going off-script, on Wednesday's quarterly earnings
call for the first time in three quarters.
Murdoch, who will also be taking calls from analysts and
the press, is likely to get more questions on the ongoing
scandal at its UK papers unit, CEO succession plans and
corporate governance than about its earnings. People familiar
with the arrangements said it is not unusual for him to make an
appearance on News Corp's fourth-quarter call as it's the end
of the company's fiscal year.
The risk for News Corp is that its maverick 80-year-old
founder at times has been known to make off-the-cuff remarks
which his aides have had to backtrack from.
Shareholders will also be listening for reassurances that
the UK phone hacking scandal, which has rocked the entire
company, will not spill over to the United States.
Murdoch will likely acknowledge some of the recent troubles
in his prepared remarks but is not expected to issue a new 'mea
culpa' similar to the one he gave at the UK Parliamentary
hearings, according to one of the people.
The conference call will take place after a board meeting
on Tuesday in Los Angeles, from where Murdoch will be calling
New York-based News Corp was rocked by a scandal at its UK
newspaper unit, after its best-selling weekly tabloid News of
the World was found to have hacked into the phones of thousands
of people including a murdered schoolgirl and terror victims.
It has since closed down that newspaper in an unprecedented
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; editing by Gunna Dickson)