A look at Rupert Murdoch and 4 associates

Associated Press + More

By CASSANDRA VINOGRAD and ROBERT BARR, Associated Press

A look at the five people tied to Rupert Murdoch's global News Corp. media empire who were criticized Tuesday by U.K. lawmakers in a report on the British phone hacking scandal:

RUPERT MURDOCH

The 81-year-old billionaire is chief executive of News Corp., a global media company that controls properties from Britain's Sun newspaper to America's Fox News Channel.

Murdoch began building his power in Britain in the 1980s by adding The Times and The Sunday Times to his stable of media properties, including The Sun and the News of the World, the tabloid at the center of the illegal phone hacking scandal. Murdoch shuttered the News of the World in July.

Murdoch, a naturalized U.S. citizen with extensive media properties in Australia as well, has contributed politically to both U.S. Republicans and Democrats but is associated with a conservative political slant. In the U.S., he controls the New York Post and Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, along with book publishing and movie companies.

U.K. lawmakers on Tuesday said he was unfit to lead a global media empire because he has turned a blind eye to phone hacking.

JAMES MURDOCH

The fourth of Rupert Murdoch's six children, the 39-year-old James was once considered heir-apparent to his father's media empire before the phone-hacking scandal tainted his reputation.

A Harvard dropout who briefly ran a record label, James joined News Corp. in 1996 as executive vice president responsible for some digital media ventures. He has led News Corp.'s Asian television group and also served as CEO of British Sky Broadcasting, in which News Corp. holds a 39 percent stake, from 2003 to 2007.

He led News Corp.'s U.K. newspapers subsidiary, News International, the unit at the center of the hacking scandal until he resigned earlier this year. In April, he also stepped down as the chairman of BSkyB. He is currently News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer.

LES HINTON

An associate of Rupert Murdoch's for more than half a century, Hinton resigned in July as CEO of Dow Jones & Co. and publisher of its flagship newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. Previously, he had been head of Murdoch's News International unit when phone hacking was going on.

A U.K. parliamentary committee said Tuesday that Hinton, 68, did not tell the truth in 2009 about his role in authorizing the settlement of a legal case that threatened to reveal the extent of phone hacking or about his own knowledge of the illegal activity.

TOM CRONE

The legal affairs manager for Murdoch's News of the World tabloid until it was closed last summer, Crone has clashed repeatedly with James Murdoch over phone hacking.

Crone says he gave the younger Murdoch a document that proved that phone hacking was widespread at the newspaper, contrary to the tabloid's claim the illegal activity involved "one rogue reporter" and a detective. James Murdoch denies that Crone had made the position clear.

The committee said Crone gave false answers about his knowledge of phone hacking at the newspaper and misled it about the significance of confidentiality in settling the lawsuit.

COLIN MYLER

Currently editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News and the former editor of Murdoch's New York Post, Myler became editor of News of the World in 2007 after the paper's royal reporter went to jail for phone hacking. Myler, 59, supported Crone's claim that James Murdoch had been told about the extent of phone hacking.

The U.K. committee said Myler lied about his knowledge of phone hacking at U.K. tabloid, a charge he denies.

(This version CORRECTS name to Myler in final section.)

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