Can Dominic Mohan Save News Corp.’s Reputation?

Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks

Dominic Mohan will be the new advising chief executive for the new News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) after previously serving as editor for the Sun — Britain’s top-selling tabloid newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch. David Dinsmore will take over as the Sun’s editor, Reuters reports.

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Mohan was responsible for getting the Sun through the phone-hacking scandal when he became editor in 2009. The incident eventually grew to involve illegal payments to officials and arrests within the staffs of both the Sun and News of the World — the latter of which Murdoch closed down.

Rebekah Brooks, former editor for both publications, is due to stand trial for phone-hacking and other offenses while the current deputy editor is charged with illegal payments to public officials.

Next week, News Corp. will have a formal split in which the publishing business and entertainment assets will be separated on the New York Stock Exchange. The publishing wing will include The Wall Street JournalDow Jones Newswires, The Times of London, Australian pay-TV services, and book publisher HarperCollins.

Mohan will report to New York-based chief executive Robert Thomson while remaining in London. His job will be to “explore strategic opportunities” for the new publishing wing of News Corp. — although his job will likely involve a continued effort to mitigate the immense damage done to their reputation in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

It will be an uphill battle to try and rebuild News Corp.’s image. More than 100 journalists and public officials have been charged or arrested for crimes revolving around phone-hacking and the incident revealed close relationships between media, police, and politicians. So far, 24 people have been charged with many more sure to follow.

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It also appears that the phone-hacking scandal still has legs. Eunice Huthart is likely to become the first person involved in a lawsuit with News Corp., claiming that she was hacked in order to obtain information pertaining to Angelina Jolie, for whom she was a stunt bodyguard. It is expected that more lawsuits will follow.

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