The ‘fateful dinner’ where Murdoch and his generals decided how to handle the phone-hacking scandal; plus, tabloid tactics, ‘Financial Times’ sale rumors, Roland Martin suspension

The Murdochs testify. ()
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

Yesterday it was revealed that News Corp. spent $104 million in 2011 on legal fees and settlements related to the ongoing U.K. phone-hacking scandal, and tomorrow Bloomberg Businessweek goes to the newsstands with an article full of inside details on the "fateful" night last May when chairman Rupert Murdoch hosted a dinner party:

"Writer Greg Farrell brings readers into Rupert Murdoch's London townhouse on a fateful evening last May when Murdoch senior, surrounded by nine of his confidantes and advisors, decided how News Corp would manage its phone-hacking scandal which was suddenly spinning out of control," the magazine wrote in a press release. "His decision to let his London group try to contain the debacle still reverberates today -- and may end up preventing his son James from inheriting control of News Corp. The story is based on interviews with four people present at the dinner."

But you don't have to wait until tomorrow to read it: just click here.

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

While we're on the topic of phone-hacking and media moguls, Mort Zuckerman's Daily News is continuing to take shape under Colin Myler, former editor of shuttered News Corp. tabloid News of the World.

(The paper was shut down last summer and Myler was sent packing, after widespread accounts of phone-hacking by journalists, largely gone before Myler became editor; it had been a cash cow.)

The loss of News of the World caused "significant year-over-year declines" in the company's U.K. publishing segment, C.O.O. Chase Carey said on the News Corp. earnings call yesterday where they revealed their phone-hacking spending. And it pitted Myler against the Murdochs.

News insiders, meanwhile, have been quietly watching for signs of stunty Fleet Street tactics as Myler, who was named editor last month (as first reported by Capital) puts his stamp on the tabloid, longtime archrival of the New York Post (another News Corp. paper where he also worked at one time).

For instance: Handing presumably not-real News front pages to Giants players and then taking their pictures with them on the field for all to see following championship football games. It's just the type of one-upmanship one would expect as the tabloid wars heat up again.

The News, in fact, has been especially aggressive with its Giants coverage, with 36-page wraparound specials sheathing the standard paper and, in today's issue, a 40-page huge commemorative pullout that has also been adapted for the iPad and Android tablets. It's the "first time in Daily News history" that the paper is offering a digital replica of one of its special commemorative sections, said C.E.O Bill Holliber in a statement announcing the app. (Along with it, the News has produced a commemorative championship book and wall plaques, going for $79 to $129.)

“Daily News sports coverage of New York’s favorite teams is second to none," said Holliber. "In response to the great demand for our award-winning coverage, we want Giants fans across the country to have access to great collector’s items celebrating their tremendous Super Bowl victory.”

There was no special Giants pullout offered in today's Post.

In other news...

Thomson Reuters eyeing The Financial Times? [Guardian News]

Greg Kelly will return to Fox 5's "Good Day New York" on Friday morning now that he has been cleared of a rape accusation. [Daily News]

Mike Huckabee is getting a radio show that could compete with Rush Limbaugh's. [NYT]

CNN has suspended Roland Martin over allegedly homophobic tweets. [Erik Wemple]

And Martin has agreed to meet with a gay advocacy group. [Erik Wemple]

GigaOM is buying paidContent. [GigaOM]

Staff shuffling at Tina Brown's NewsBeast. [Cheat Sheet Tumblr]

Newspaper web traffic is growing, but not fast enough. [The Wrap]

The Boston Phoenix says The New York Times "stole" its column. [The Phlog]

Reuters' U.K. journalists will not strike. [Dylan Byers]

Editorial changes at Patch. [Romenesko]

Earlier on Capital, in case you missed it...

Felix Dennis, the eccentric British publishing magnate, is in treatment for throat cancer.

New Yorker editor David Remnick slams Romney and recalls an off-the-record meeting with Obama in which the president said: "True dat."

The New York Post does a big reveal of the woman who accused morning anchor Greg Kelly of rape.