News International Rebrands as News UK

It’s not just editorial changes at all the papers at Wapping, now News International itself is no more. This morning it became News UK, apparently so named to reflect Murdoch’s “ongoing commitment” to the UK.

Which will upset the haters…

News Corp’s New Logo

newscorp

 

Apparently the new logo is based on the handwriting of Rupert Murdoch and his father.

 

Softer and slightly less Orwellian…

Unpublished Fred Michel Evidence Implicates Brown

Brown Nosing Murdoch

In spite of his rough ride at Leveson it seems Gordon Brown got off lightly considering the evidence that wasn’t heard by the inquiry. Guido understands that Linklaters, the law firm contracted by News International to conduct interviews with employees over phone-hacking, possesses a wealth of evidence on the Prime Mentalist that Leveson decided was outside his remit.

Sources close to Linklaters whisper to Guido that while Leveson only asked for specific evidence from 2008 onwards, they collected testimony from Fred Michel dating back to the crucial election-that-never-was period in 2007 that was not heard at the inquiry. This includes embarrassing details of failed attempts by Brown’s aides to lobby Murdoch for support and more significantly evidence that sources at the law firm believe show Brown lied under oath when he denied the truth of the infamous ‘declare war’ phone call. If anyone at Linklaters feels like doing the public a service, they know what to do

Guto Visits the Welsh Wizards

Some strange goings on over at the Plaid Cymru annual conference in Wales today. As Guido reported earlier they kicked things off promising to magic some growth by reducing oil usage, and now they have been graced by the presence of a somewhat unexpected guest:

As if that were not enough Plaid’s new leader Leanne Wood has given her maiden speech, telling conference goers:

Moving swiftly on…

Coogan Takes the Murdoch Shilling

Celeb scourge of the Murdochs Steve Coogan has not been shy of launching scathing attacks on the media mogul over phone hacking:

“This is Rupert Murdoch’s toxic legacy.”

“The closure of the News of the World is a small victory for decency and humanity.”

“I will do everything in my power to keep [phone-hacking] in the popular imagination.”

“News International’s behaviour is not unlike a protection racket”.

In other news the first episode of Coogan’s hilarious new series Places of my Life airs on Sky Atlantic at 9pm tonight.

Guido wonders whether he’ll tell the one about the time he took a huge cheque from Uncle Rupe…

Media Committee: Clears James Murdoch of Misleading Them
Executives Crone, Hinton, Myler Gave Misleading Testimony

On the specific point of misleading the DCMS committee James Murdoch is cleared. The report, on the basis of party political split vote, does however claim that Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to exercise stewardship of a major international company and that James Murdoch showed “wilful ignorance” of the extent of phone hacking during 2009 and 2010. Tory members of the committee are basically saying Watson went over the top and they could not give  unanimous backing to the report.

Download the full report here.

Murdoch’s Lawyers Say “Stop the Front Page”

This lawyer’s letter has just been sent out to media organisations:

Not for Publication
Private and Confidential

Dear Sirs

BBC Panorama

We act for News Corporation.

We understand that the BBC is due to broadcast a Panorama programme on Monday 26 March 2012, in which serious and defamatory allegations may be made against our client. We say this, not because any allegations have been put to our client prior to broadcast, but because the BBC is publishing on its own website the following synopsis of the programme:

“As Rupert Murdoch faces accusations of law-breaking and corruption at his British tabloid newspapers, Panorama reveals fresh hacking allegations at the heart of News Corporation’s pay-TV empire. The investigation examines the role of former senior police officers in recruiting people to break the law – in order to bring down Murdoch’s commercial rival.”

The allegation which the BBC appears to be broadcasting on Monday is that News Corporation has been involved in illegal activities designed to cause the collapse of a business rival. We write to put you on notice that this allegation is serious, defamatory, false and highly damaging; we urge your paper not to republish it, especially in circumstances where our client has not been given the opportunity to respond.

Yours faithfully

PSB Law LLP

Panorama’s ratings should be good…

Guardian Makes Thirty-Eighth News International Correction
Claimed Sun Had Charlotte Church “Countdown to 16 Clock”

Yesterday the Guardian published an article by former burlesque dancer Laurie Penny which claimed that

“Charlotte Church was 15 years old when Britain’s best-read daily newspaper began a public countdown to the day on which she could be legally f****d.”

The claim is totally false.

It was corrected after the Heresy Corner blog pointed out the false claim. This takes the number of corrections to stories published by the Guardian about News International tabloids to 38. All sense of proportion and indeed sense has gone out the window. The allegation was designed to deliberately characterise The Sun in the worst possible light.

UPDATE: They have managed in Grauniad style to cock-up the correction.



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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