Following the release of the most anticipated quarterly report of Q4, CEO and chairman of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch took to the phones for an earnings call giving the press an opportunity to question him on News of the World and the long-discussed succession plan.

Alongside the earnings release, indicating a $420 million increase year-on-year, Murdoch acknowledged the topic on every reporter’s lips:

“While it has been a good quarter from a financial point of view, our company has faced challenges in recent  weeks relating to our London tabloid, News of the World. We are acting decisively in the matter and will do whatever is necessary to prevent something like this from ever occurring again.”

Murdoch answered questions around the safeguards being put in place to prevent similar situations to the phone hacking scandal by commenting News Corp was assisting the authorities and was committed to transparency. He did not specifically refer to any new safeguards being put in place.

When questioned on the succession plan, and whether the appointment of his son James would be supported by his board, Murdoch responded with, “I hope that the job won’t be open in the near future.” He said his COO, Chase Carey, could take over should anything happen to him, but added that both he and Carey had full confidence in James.

The earnings release came a day after Australian newspaper circulation figures indicated every metropolitan and regional masthead posting declines in the second quarter (calendar year).

Sean Greaney
BY Sean Greaney ON 5 August 2011
Managing editor, Marketing magazine &