SUN VALLEY, Idaho (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp is ensnared in a growing phone-hacking scandal, said on Saturday that key deputy Rebekah Brooks has his full support and no management changes are planned as a result of the scandal.
Murdoch told Reuters he would likely leave for London “this afternoon or tomorrow,” after attending the annual Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, which ends Saturday afternoon.
The media magnate said Brooks, formerly editor of the newspaper at the center of the scandal and now head of News International, has “total” support. “I‘m not throwing innocent people under the bus,” Murdoch added.
Asked if he planned any management shifts, such as changing the responsibilities for son and heir apparent James Murdoch, he replied no. “Nothing’s changed,” he said as left the conference.
“We’ve been let down by people that we trusted, with the result the paper let down its readers,” Murdoch said about the phone hacking scandal ensnaring “News of the World.” As a result of the crisis, News Corp. is shuttering the newspaper after a final edition prints on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, he called the decision to close “News of the World” a “collective decision.”
The crisis has led to the arrest of the former editor of the News of the World, Andy Coulson, who was also a top aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron. It also threatens News Corp.’s takeover of broadcaster BSkyB.
News of the World, bought by Murdoch in 1969, was Murdoch’s first newspaper acquisition in Britain. Murdoch has gone on to build a global newspaper empire through acquisitions such as the London Times and the Wall Street Journal.
“We have thousands and thousands of journalists with the highest professional standards,” he added. “We’re proud of it, and they’re proud of it too.”
Editing by Mary Milliken and Doina Chiacu