Long-term Murdoch lieutenant Les Hinton to publish memoirs

Hinton worked for media mogul for more than 50 years before he resigned from News Corp at height of hacking scandal

Rupert Murdoch’s righthand man for more than 50 years is to have his memoirs published, providing one of the most informed portraits of the media mogul to date.

Les Hinton, who resigned from Murdoch’s company News Corp at the height of the phone-hacking scandal in 2011, said the tycoon had “heavy boots who bruised a lot of people” but was an “authentic colossus”.

Hinton started working for Murdoch when he was 15 as a copy boy at an Adelaide newspaper that was run by the tycoon. He rose up through the ranks of Murdoch’s businesses before running News International, the publisher of the Sun, Times and News of the World, between 1995 and 2007.

Hinton then moved to the US to become chief executive of Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, before he stepped down in 2011 after 52 years alongside Murdoch.

“Rupert Murdoch was a big part of my working life and this book contains my version of the truth about him,” Hinton said.

“Rupert could be hell to work for and he earned many of his enemies. He’s a driven businessman with heavy boots who bruised a lot of people. But, love or hate him, he’s an authentic colossus. I saw him at all angles – brilliant, brutal, and often – to the surprise of many – extraordinarily kind.”

The book – called The Bootle Boy: An Untidy Life in News – will be published next summer by Scribe.

Hinton was born in Bootle, Liverpool, during the second world war before emigrating to Australia with his family.

He resigned from News Corp in July 2011 as it became clear that hacking had been widespread at the News of the World while he was in charge of News International. Hinton described his resignation as a “deeply, deeply sad” while Murdoch said they had been “on a remarkable journey together”.

Hinton has always insisted he was unaware that phone hacking at the News of the World went beyond the work of a “rogue reporter” – royal reporter Clive Goodman. However, when he resigned from News Corp, Hinton said it was “irrelevant” that he had been ignorant of what occurred.

The former journalist was accused of misleading parliament after attending two committee hearings related to phone hacking in 2007 and 2009.

However, last year Hinton was cleared of misleading parliament following an investigation by the select committee of privileges.

The investigation found an allegation made by the culture committee that Hinton had sought to mislead it over the extent of a payoff to Goodman was “not significantly more likely than not to be true” and that another allegation regarding his knowledge of Goodman and phone hacker Glenn Mulcaire’s activities did not meet the “standard of proof set for a finding of contempt”.

Hinton said the findings were “too little and too late” and that he had endured a “sham trial and free-for-all character assassination” at the hands of the culture committee.


Graham Ruddick

The GuardianTramp

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