News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch isn’t backing down.
In an email to staff of the besieged Sun tabloid, where ten current and former senior staff have been arrested since November, the 81-year-old media tycoon promised to “build on the Sun’s proud heritage by launching the Sun on Sunday very soon.
The email came as Murdoch visited the paper’s U.K. headquarters for a meeting with staff. According to the BBC:
Mr Murdoch arrived on a private plane at Luton Airport from the US on Thursday evening and was taken to Wapping in a vehicle with blacked-out windows.
The meeting followed anger at the way in which the News Corporation’s management and standards committee – set up to investigate allegations of wrongdoing – passed on information to the police.
The Associated Press said James Murdoch, son and CEO of the European and Asian branches of the News Corp. empire, was conspicuously absent. James Murdoch has been at the center of many of the allegations at the company’s tabloids:
Murdoch chatted to reporters in The Sun’s newsroom but did not make a formal speech to staff and was accompanied on his tour by his eldest son Lachlan, not his younger son James who is chairman of News International. Officials at the company insisted James was out of Britain and had other commitments.
Earlier this week, News Corp., which is conducting its own investigation of alleged illegal payments to journalists, called the charge that it had passed information to police a “complete red herring,” according to The Guardian.
In the staff email, Murdoch alluded to the arrests, saying that his “continuing respect makes this situation a source of great pain for me, as I know it is for each of you.”
But he added his commitment to “obey the law.
Illegal activities simply cannot and will not be tolerated – at any of our publications. Our board of directors, our management team and I take these issues very seriously.