London - News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch has written a personal apology to be published in British newspapers for the hurt suffered by people targeted by phone hacking at his News of the World tabloid.
The apology will be carried in all national newspapers this weekend under the headline “We are sorry”. The text was released by the company’s News International UK arm.
“The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself,” Murdoch wrote in an article signed off “Sincerely, Rupert Murdoch”.
“We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected,” he added.
“In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.”
The public disgust that erupted over reports that the News of the World may have hacked into the voicemails of murder victims and other vulnerable people prompted Murdoch to close the News of the World and pull a $12bn bid to buy the 61% of British pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB he does not own.
Tom Mockridge, who was appointed chief executive of the crisis-hit British newsapaper group News International on Friday after Rebekah Brooks quit, is one of Rupert Murdoch's most trusted lieutants.
Murdoch has put huge faith in the 56-year-old Mockridge, currently the chief executive of News Corp.-owned broadcaster Sky Italia, by giving him the task of saving his once prestigious newspaper division amid the phone-hacking scandal.
A former Australian government spokesperson, Mockridge has considerable experience in both journalism and public relations, a combination the Murdochs hope will help him defend News International from political attack.
Mockridge has worked for the Murdochs for 20 years and is seen as being particularly close to Rupert Murdoch's son and heir apparent James, the chairman of News International and deputy chief operating officer of News Corp.
"Tom is an outstanding executive with unrivalled experience across our journalism and television businesses," said 38-year-old James Murdoch in a statement after Mockridge's appointment was announced.