Twitchy sociopath James Murdoch may be on thin ice at News Corp., Reuters' Peter Lauria reports. Despite a public vote of confidence from his father during last week's earnings call—"I have full confidence in James"—some News Corp. executives are preparing for a post-James world, on account of how he lied to Parliament.
James Murdoch, whose claim to Parliament last week that he had no idea there was rampant phone hacking going on at News International when he approved a $1.1 million settlement for a phone hacking case has since been contradicted by two of his executives, will probably be called back to explain the discrepancy.
Former News of the World editor Colin Myler and former News International legal manager Tom Crone have issued a terse joint statement saying James Murdoch was "mistaken" when he told a parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday that he didn't know about an email that directly implicated News of the World reporter Neville Thurlbeck in phone hacking. It's likely he will be called back to clarify the issue.
What the fuck does Rupert Murdoch do all day? To judge by his baffling performance before a British parliamentary committee investigating him for phone hacking, little more than gossip on the phone with whatever old-timer is willing to indulge him while his son James and wife Wendi battle for control of News Corporation.
Rupert Murdoch and his son James have been testifying this morning before a British Parliamentary committee investigating the wide-ranging criminality of basically everything they've done for the past 20 years.
Tomorrow, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, his son James, and former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks will testify before Parliament about their knowledge of the News of the World hacking scandal that has rocked Britain for weeks. But on tonight's Report, Stephen Colbert—much like Steve Doocy on Friday's edition of Fox & Friends—had a much less serious take on it all. Video of Colbert's segment is above.
An American media exec snuck into News of the World's offices shortly before the scandal-plagued magazine printed its final issue. Her friend was considering using the location for filming commercials, so they photographed it extensively. She posted the photos on the Web today, and gave us permission to republish them.
• Janice Min isn't renewing her contract as editor-in-chief of Jann Wenner's Us Weekly. Her No. 2, Michael Steele, will become acting editor in chief. [NYT]
• Condé Nast announced yesterday that it had retained the management consulting firm McKinsey to "develop new perspectives." They sure have their work cut out for them. Condé revealed today that its monthly mags witnessed a 37 percent drop in advertising in September. [Gawker, AdAge, NYO]
• More pain at Condé may be on the way: "Significant cost cuts, including more layoffs and the closing of more magazines" are coming, says Keith Kelly. [NYP]
• Yet more Condé news: The company is closing down Men.Style.com so it can focus on the soon-to-be relaunched websites of GQ and Details. [AdAge]
• The Boston Globe's largest union voted yesterday to approve the new contract that had been proposed by the New York Times Co. [NYT, E&P]
• This can't be a good sign about the state of affairs at CNN: Time Warner Cable is moving it from channel 10 to 78 and replacing it with FX. [MCN]
• More on Peter Chernin's departure from News Corp. and the likely possibility that Rupert Murdoch will hand over the reigns to his son, James. [WSJ, NYT]
• Rupert Murdoch has issued an apology for the Post's chimp cartoon. [NYP]
• Kathy Griffin scored a $2 mil. advance from Ballantine for a memoir. [NYO]
• The FT is cutting costs by giving employees three-day weekends. [E&P]
• The recession is wreaking havoc on pilot season in Hollywood. [Variety]
• Your amusing and totally frightening stat of the day: The average television viewer watches 151 hours of TV each month, a new record. [B&C]
• Oscar picks for 2010, just in case you wanna get a head start. [NYO]
Incidentally, the Murdoch imports at the Wall Street Journal continue to tread on the newspaper's delicate sensibilities. You'll remember Marcus Brauchli, the Journal's managing editor, had a speech ready to welcome his new overlords, but they never called on him. That was just the first humiliation.