January 16, 2021

Murdoch Shakes Up News Corp.’s Australian Operation

Mr. Murdoch named a former newspaper executive, Julian Clarke, to run News Corp. Australia, the country’s dominant newspaper publisher, replacing the former pay-television boss, Kim Williams, who announced his retirement after less than two years in the top job.

“I want to thank him for his unwavering commitment and the blood, sweat and tears he has put into News Corp. Australia,” Mr. Murdoch said in a statement on Mr. Williams’s retirement.

Some media analysts said the change of executives was more likely to be linked to the split of News Corp. into its entertainment and publishing units earlier this year, than to politics and the heated election campaign.

Crikey.com.au, a news Web site, said there had been internal unrest in News Corp. Australia over Mr. Williams’s cost-cutting and structural changes and relief in newsrooms at his departure.

Paul Xiradis, managing director at Ausbil Dexia, the biggest investment management shareholder in News Corp.’s Australian-listed shares, also said Mr. Williams’s departure was more likely about business.

Leading up to the News Corp. split, “there was a fair bit of work involved in that. But now implementing the ongoing strategy, maybe he wasn’t committed there full-time,” Mr. Xiradis said, referring to Mr. Williams.

Mr. Rudd said Friday that the shakeout had come after Mr. Murdoch sent a key lieutenant, Col Allan, from New York to Australia to increase attacks on his government and its high-speed broadband plan — projected to cost 38 billion Australian dollars, or $35 billion — before the Sept. 7 election.

“The message delivered very clearly to them was ‘go hard on Rudd. Start from Sunday and don’t back off,”’ Mr. Rudd said.

Margaret Simons, a media analyst at Melbourne University, said News Corp. had long been against the Labor government under both Mr. Rudd and his predecessor, Julia Gillard.

“Col Allan’s arrival was crucial,” she said. “I’m hearing Col Allan was sent to report back on how Kim Williams was leading the local operation. When I heard he was arriving, it was clear it couldn’t possibly be good for Kim.”

News Corp. did not respond to requests for comment on Mr. Rudd’s allegations. But there is no question that the Murdoch-controlled media outlets in Australia want Mr. Rudd defeated in the September elections.

The leading Sydney newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, on Monday ran a front-page headline saying, “Kick this mob out” over a photo of Mr. Rudd on the first day of an election campaign.

Mr. Murdoch’s main daily in the state of Queensland on Friday continued the anti-government campaign, with the front page headline “Send in the clown” over a photograph of Mr. Rudd and his surprise candidate for a key seat, a former popular state premier, Peter Beattie.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/10/business/media/murdoch-shakes-up-news-corps-australian-operation.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

21st Century Fox Has 16% Jump in Revenue on Higher Cable Fees

The entertainment arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, 21st Century Fox, on Tuesday reported a 16 percent uptick in revenue for the quarter ending in June, thanks in part to the higher subscriber fees for its cable channels.

The benefits of growing subscriber revenue were also apparent at the Fox broadcast network and the company’s owned-and-operated television stations, where retransmission fees nearly doubled against the same quarter a year earlier. Advertising totals for the stations and the Fox network as a whole were held back, however, by the decline of “American Idol.”

Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation at the end of June split into two companies — 21st Century Fox and a smaller publishing arm called News Corp. The earnings report on Tuesday reflected the performance of only 21st Century Fox. The new publishing wing has not said when it will report its earnings for the most recent quarter.

“Although a significant amount of time and effort was spent over the past 12 months on this separation, we never lost focus on the operation of our businesses,” Mr. Murdoch said in a statement that accompanied the Fox earnings report.

Net income for the 21st Century Fox side of Mr. Murdoch’s house was $977 million in the quarter that ended June 30, or 42 cents a share, up from $596 million, or 25 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

After adjustments for one-time items, earnings per share came to 31 cents.

Revenue in the quarter totaled $7.2 billion.

Cable, as always, drove the company’s growth. Subscriber fees rose 9 percent in the United States for channels like Fox News, FX and National Geographic. As is the norm for major media companies these days, growth was much more pronounced overseas. That was true for advertising sales, too: sales were up 4 percent in the United States and up 20 percent internationally.

In the Fox broadcast television unit, a 7 percent decline in ad revenue was attributed partly to “American Idol,” the popular singing competition that gave up about a third of its audience last spring.

On an earnings conference call on Tuesday afternoon, Chase Carey, the company’s president and chief operating officer, tried to reassure analysts about “Idol;” it is still a profitable show and among the five highest-rated programs on all of television, he said.

“We’ve made some steps, put new leadership directly in place,” Mr. Carey said, mentioning by name David Hill, the former Fox Sports chairman who was recently tapped to oversee “Idol” and another Fox singing series, “The X Factor.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/business/media/21st-century-fox-has-16-jump-in-revenue-on-higher-cable-fees.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

U.K. Broadcaster Says Murdoch Criticized Hacking Investigators

Since July 2011, Mr. Murdoch’s newspaper outpost in Britain has been under close scrutiny by Parliament, by a separate judicial inquiry and by the police investigating accusations of illicit phone tapping, corruption and other misbehavior, particularly at The News of the World, a now-shuttered Sunday tabloid. Scores of former Murdoch employees have been arrested as the scandal raised questions about hidden ties among the press, the police and the political elite

In the recording, apparently made in March during a meeting with journalists at Mr. Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun, Mr. Murdoch is heard saying: “Still, I mean, it’s a disgrace. Here we are, two years later, and the cops are totally incompetent.”

“The idea that the cops then started coming after you, kick you out of bed, and your families, at six in the morning, is unbelievable,” he said.

Channel 4 News said the recording had been obtained by an investigative Web site called Exaro. The channel said the tone of the remarks seemed markedly at odds with Mr. Murdoch’s public insistence that he felt “humbled” by the hacking scandal.

Mr. Murdoch also referred to a decision by his company’s management and standards committee — referred to in the recording as the MSC — to hand over a trove of e-mails and other material to investigators, a move he described as a mistake.

“Because — it was a mistake, I think. But, in that atmosphere, at that time, we said, ‘Look, we are an open book, we will show you everything.’ And the lawyers just got rich going through millions of e-mails,” he said, promising to support journalists caught up in the investigation.

“I will do everything in my power to give you total support, even if you’re convicted and get six months or whatever,” he said.

“You’re all innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “What you’re asking is: What happens if some of you are proven guilty? What afterward? I’m not allowed to promise you — I will promise you continued health support — but your jobs. I’ve got to be careful what comes out — but, frankly, I won’t say it, but just trust me.”

Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp., based in New York, said in a statement: “No other company has done as much to identify what went wrong, compensate the victims, and ensure the same mistakes do not happen again.”

“The unprecedented cooperation granted by News Corp. was agreed unanimously by senior management and the board, and the MSC continues to cooperate under the supervision of the courts,” the statement said. “Rupert Murdoch has shown understandable empathy with the staff and families affected and will assume they are innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

Tom Watson, an opposition Labour Party legislator who has taken a lead in criticizing of Mr. Murdoch, said he hoped the police would now investigate Mr. Murdoch “about what he did know about criminality in his organization.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/world/europe/uk-broadcaster-says-murdoch-criticized-hacking-investigators.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

After 14 Years of Marriage, Murdoch Seeks Divorce

A spokeswoman for Mr. Murdoch’s media company, News Corporation, confirmed that Mr. Murdoch had made the filing, which said that the “relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably.”

Mrs. Murdoch was informed in advance of Mr. Murdoch’s decision, according to a person close to the family. Ira E. Garr of the law firm Garr Silpe is representing Mr. Murdoch in the divorce.

The filing — which was first reported by Deadline Hollywood — comes after years of whispered comments that the couple had largely grown apart, pursuing separate interests, often from different coasts.

Mr. Murdoch, 82, first met Wendi Deng, 44, on a business trip to China when she was a young executive at his company’s Star TV division in Hong Kong. They wed in front of 82 guests in 1999 aboard Mr. Murdoch’s 155-foot yacht, the Morning Glory, in New York Harbor.

A year before they were married, Mr. Murdoch left his wife, Anna, to whom he had been married for 31 years. That divorce is reported to have cost Mr. Murdoch $1.7 billion, including $110 million in cash. He and Anna had three children — Lachlan, James and Elisabeth. Mr. Murdoch divorced his first wife, Patricia, in 1967. They had one daughter, Prudence.

The divorce from Wendi Murdoch and decisions about the place the couple’s daughters, Grace, 11, and Chloe, 9, will have in Mr. Murdoch’s media empire are expected to be contentious.

In 2006, a battle broke out when Mr. Murdoch said in a TV interview with Charlie Rose that Grace and Chloe would have an equal economic interest in the family’s trust, but would not have the same voting rights as his children from his previous two marriages. The couple worked out a more mutually acceptable agreement.

In recent years, Mrs. Murdoch, who was born to humble beginnings as Deng Wen Di in Jiangsu Province in eastern China, has taken on a wider range of professional endeavors, including producing the movie “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.” The movie was released by News Corporation’s Fox Searchlight division in July 2011 and was eclipsed when news surfaced that Mr. Murdoch’s British tabloid News of the World tabloid had hacked into the voice mail of Milly Dowler, a kidnapped and murdered teenager.

Mrs. Murdoch became a viral sensation during the phone hacking crisis when Mr. Murdoch testified in front of a British parliamentary subcommittee about the scandal. Wearing a pink blazer, Mrs. Murdoch, a former volleyball player, instinctively lurched toward a protester to protect her husband from a pie attack.

The News Corporation spokeswoman said the divorce would have no impact on the company. On June 28, the corporation will complete the split of its publishing and entertainment assets into two separate companies, to be called News Corp and 21st Century Fox, respectively.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/business/media/rupert-murdoch-files-for-divorce-after-14-years-of-marriage.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Shareholders Approve Plan to Split News Corp.

Shareholders attended a special meeting at the media company’s New York headquarters early Tuesday where they voted in favor of the formation of two separate companies. The larger company, 21st Century Fox, will include Fox Broadcasting, cable channels like Fox News and FX, and the Hollywood studio; a newly formed News Corporation will contain newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, the HarperCollins publishing company and a handful of Australian television assets.

Investors have for years grumbled that many of News Corporation’s more than 120 newspapers were a drag on the company, in contrast to the strong performance of its cable television assets. Those complaints became more pronounced in July 2011 when a phone hacking scandal erupted at the company’s British newspaper division, prompting the chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, to abruptly close News of the World, one of News Corporation’s most profitable papers.

“With the split of our company, and the birth of the new News Corp., I have been given the extraordinary opportunity most people never get in their lifetime: the chance to do it all over again,” Mr. Murdoch told investors at a News Corporation investor day held May 28.

The vote on Tuesday was partly a foregone conclusion. The Murdoch family controls 39.4 percent of the company’s Class B voting shares. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia controls another 7 percent and typically votes in support of the Murdoch family.

Representatives from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, a charitable organization and institutional investor that owns 3,686 Class B voting shares, on Tuesday protested the dual-class stock structure that allows the Murdoch family to control voting. That structure will also exist in both 21st Century Fox and the new News Corporation.

The company is expected to split officially on June 28.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/business/media/shareholders-approve-plan-to-split-news-corp.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

News Corp. Agrees to $139 Million Settlement With Shareholders

The group asserted News Corporation’s board of directors — led by Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive — breached its fiduciary responsibility in handling the crisis in Britain.

The lawsuit, filed by Amalgamated Bank, the largest union-owned bank in the United States, which handles large-scale labor and pension funds, also asserted that the company had unethically paid $670 million in 2011 to acquire the Shine Group, the television production company of Mr. Murdoch’s daughter, Elisabeth Murdoch.

News Corporation will not pay any $139 million settlement. Rather, the company will receive a payment from insurance that protects corporate boards from this type of litigation.

“We are proud of this historic settlement,” Edward Grebow, president and chief executive of Amalgamated Bank, said in a statement. The bank’s LongView Funds hold 455,343 Class A common shares of News Corporation.

News Corporation indicated that the settlement would move it one step closer toward distancing itself from the hacking imbroglio that erupted in 2011. “We are pleased to have resolved this matter,” News Corporation said in a statement.

“The agreement reflects the important steps News Corporation has taken over the last year to strengthen our corporate governance and compliance structure,” the statement added.

News Corporation has invested in building a compliance structure that will appease the United States Justice Department ahead of a meeting later this month to discuss phone hacking and bribery at its British papers.

In late June, the company is expected to split off its publishing assets — including its British newspaper arm — into a separate, publicly traded company. Entertainment and television assets like Fox Broadcasting and Fox News will form a separate company called 21st Century Fox.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/business/media/news-corp-agrees-to-139-million-settlement-with-shareholders.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

21st Century Fox Is Name for News Corp. Media Unit

In a note to staff members on Tuesday, Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, said the name “draws upon the creative heritage of 20th Century Fox, while also speaking to the innovation and dynamism that must define each of our businesses through the 21st century.”

News Corporation is expected to complete in early July the split of its entertainment assets from its publishing units, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and HarperCollins. The publishing company, which will also include Australian pay television assets, will keep the name News Corporation.

The name 21st Century Fox signals that the company wants to highlight its accomplishments in movies and television, including producing movies like “Avatar” and “Titanic” and television series like “The Simpsons,” “Homeland” and “Modern Family.” The new company had previously been referred to as the Fox Group.

In his note, Mr. Murdoch praised those creative accomplishments. The bulk of 21st Century Fox’s profits, however, will most likely not come from the studio but from its cable channels, including Fox News and FX. “We created a ratings juggernaut, with millions of households trusting Fox News to deliver the most valuable and most watched journalism on television,” Mr. Murdoch said.

The company will expand its presence in cable television with the introduction of Fox Sports 1, a 24-hour cable sports channel aimed at competing with ESPN. Mr. Murdoch said the company would approach its sports endeavors with “the brash, irreverent attitude that is synonymous with Fox Sports.”

Mr. Murdoch will continue to serve as chief executive and chairman of 21st Century Fox and will serve as chairman of News Corporation. Chase Carey will serve as chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox and Robert Thomson holds the roll of chief executive of News Corporation.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/business/media/21st-century-fox-is-name-for-news-corp-media-unit.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

British Talks on Press Regulation Break Down

Mr. Cameron’s abrupt move placed new strains on his relationship with the Liberal Democrats, the junior coalition partner with his Conservative Party, and raised the possibility that they may end up voting with the Labour opposition against Mr. Cameron’s proposal for a royal charter to underpin a new self-regulatory body.

Last November, after months of hearings, a long-awaited report on the behavior of British newspapers embroiled in the phone hacking scandal, written by Lord Justice Sir Brian Leveson, recommended that press regulation should be backed by parliamentary statute, curbing Britain’s 300-year-old tradition of broad press freedom.

The Leveson inquiry was established after the hacking scandal came to a head in July 2011. At that time, Mr. Murdoch ordered the closure of The News of the World, a flagship Sunday tabloid, after disclosures of widespread hacking, including the cellphone of Milly Dowler, a kidnapped schoolgirl who was later found murdered.

The crisis led to civil suits, criminal investigations, a parliamentary inquiry and the Leveson hearings — scrutiny that coursed through British public life, exposing previously hidden relationships between the press, the police and politicians.

The affair has cost Mr. Murdoch’s newspapers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Six more journalists who previously worked for The News of the World were arrested in February on suspicion of hacking into cellphone messages, adding to a tally of more than 100 reporters, editors, investigators, executives and public officials implicated in wrongdoing by police units investigating accusations of criminal activity.

The scandal spread on Thursday to the rival Mirror Group, when the police said that four Mirror journalists had been arrested on suspicion of “conspiracy to intercept telephone communications.” The journalists were not identified by name. Scotland Yard said they included three men aged 40, 46 and 49 and a 47-year-old woman who were arrested in south London.

When the Leveson inquiry published its report calling for statutory underpinning to a new press watchdog, Mr. Cameron opposed the idea while Labour supported it.

Instead, Mr. Cameron proposed that a new self-regulatory agency with the power to fine newspapers and take other measures to support victims of press intrusion into their privacy should be supported by a Royal Charter, a device used to give authority to and define the rights of major institutions like the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Bank of England.

Mr. Cameron plans to call a vote on his proposal in Parliament on Monday, but Liberal Democrat officials said it was unclear how the junior coalition partner would vote. The Press Association news agency quoted Liberal Democrat officials as saying Mr. Cameron called off the talks with their leader, Nick Clegg, and the Labour opposition leader, Ed Miliband “unilaterally.”

“We were very surprised and disappointed,” an unidentified Liberal Democrat official was quoted as saying. “We thought we were making real progress and inching toward a deal, but the Prime Minister has unilaterally decided to pull the plug on cross-party talks.”

At a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Cameron said his proposal would create “the toughest regulation of the press that this country has ever seen.”

Newspapers, he said, would refuse to accept regulation by parliamentary statute — an idea supported by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and privacy campaigners.

“There’s no point in producing a system that the press won’t take part in,” Mr. Cameron said. “As prime minister, I wouldn’t be fulfilling my duty if I came up with something knowing that it wouldn’t work.”

Referring to Sir Brian, the author of last November’s report, Mr. Cameron said: “The route I have set out is the fastest possible way to deliver the strong self-regulation body that Leveson proposed that can put in place million-pound fines, prominent apologies and get justice for victims in this country.”

“The deal is there to be done, it is the fastest way to get proper justice for victims,” Mr. Cameron said.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/world/europe/british-talks-on-press-regulation-break-down.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

DealBook: Liberty Global in Talks to Buy Virgin Media

Liberty Global, the international broadband arm of John  Malone's media and telecom empire, has been expanding in Europe.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesLiberty Global, the international broadband arm of John C. Malone’s media and telecommunications empire, has been expanding in Europe.

6:59 a.m. | Updated

LONDON – Liberty Global, the international cable company owned by the American billionaire John C. Malone, is in discussions to buy the British cable company Virgin Media.

In a brief statement on Tuesday, Virgin Media said it was in talks with Liberty Global, which serves almost 20 million customers worldwide.

“Any such transaction would be subject to regulatory and other conditions,” Virgin Media said in a statement. Spokesmen for both Virgin Media and Liberty Global declined to comment further.

Virgin Media, whose primary listing is on Nasdaq, is the second-largest pay-TV provider in Britain after BSkyB, which is partly owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

A potential deal for Virgin Media would put Mr. Malone head-to-head with Mr. Murdoch, his longtime rival.

In 2008, the Liberty Group, which has operations in 13 countries, completed its purchase of a controlling stake in DirecTV, the satellite television provider, from News Corporation in a cash-and-equity deal worth roughly $11 billion.

The deal came after Mr. Malone’s purchase of a 16 percent stake in News Corporation, which he then traded for the satellite television operator, a number of regional sports networks and around $550 million cash.

Liberty Global has been expanding its presence in Europe and has operations from Ireland to Romania, though it failed last month in its bid to acquire the Belgian telecommunications company Telenet Group for $2.7 billion. Liberty Global currently owns a 58 percent stake in Telenet.

Shares in Virgin Media, which was formed through several mergers of small British cable companies and a cellphone company in the 2000s, rose almost 16 percent in afternoon trading in London on Tuesday.

Its shares have jumped almost 60 percent in the last 12 months, as more consumers sign up for so-called bundled services, including Internet and cellphone contracts.

Virgin Media’s market capitalization stands at $10.4 billion. Including debt, its enterprise value is around $19.4 billion, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

To secure a deal, analysts at Espirito Santo said Liberty Global may have to pay as much as $24 billion, though they questioned whether the international cable company could afford to fund the acquisition because of its existing high levels of debt.

Analysts also said that it would be difficult for Liberty Global to make costs savings between its current European operations and those of Virgin Media, adding that Liberty had waited to make its move for Virgin Media until the British cable operator had carried out a series of upgrades to its network and restructured its debt.

“Unless another bidder comes out of the woodwork, it’s hard to see much more of a premium on the price,” said Patrick Yau, a media analyst at Peel Hunt in London.

The British billionaire Richard Branson, whose Virgin brand is now used for a variety of products and services, including airlines and banks, owns less than 3 percent of Virgin Media.

While the British cable operator has been picking up market share, the company currently has 4.9 million customers, or roughly half the number of subscribers as its larger rival, BSkyB, according to filings from the companies.

In August, Liberty Media, the media conglomerate also controlled by Mr. Malone, agreed to buy a stake in Barnes Noble for $204 million, but declined to buy the bookseller outright.

The move disappointed some investors after Liberty had earlier offered to buy a 70 percent stake of Barnes Noble for $17 a share if its chairman, Leonard S. Riggio, who owns around 30 percent of the company, agreed to the deal.


This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: February 5, 2013

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misidentified the leader of News Corporation. He is Rupert Murdoch, not Richard.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/liberty-global-in-talks-to-buy-virgin-media/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Murdoch Apologizes for ‘Grotesque’ Netanyahu Cartoon

The drawing was published on Sunday, as Britain marked Holocaust Memorial Day.

The affair, which drew passionate debate in Britain on Tuesday, seemed to offer a mirror image of controversies in recent years involving cartoons that Muslims found offensive.

In a message on Twitter on Monday, Mr. Murdoch wrote that the artist who drew the cartoon, Gerald Scarfe, “has never reflected the opinions of The Sunday Times. Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon.”

The drawing showed Mr. Netanyahu holding a trowel and included the lines: “Israel elections. Will cementing the peace continue?” The wall in the cartoon was apparently a reference to the barrier Israel has built between itself and the West Bank.

Stephen Pollard, the editor of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle weekly newspaper, said in a BBC radio segment on Tuesday that the timing of the cartoon was “grotesque.” It reflected “the worst anti-Semitic blood libel,” which was common in cartoons in Arabic newspapers in the Middle East, he said.

But, appearing on the same broadcast, Steve Bell, a cartoonist for The Guardian, responded in a heated discussion that when Mr. Scarfe depicted President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in a similarly confrontational light there had been “not a squeak” of criticism.

The debate also spread to Israel where columnist Anshel Pfeffer wrote on the Haaretz newspaper Web site. “Should The Sunday Times have not published the cartoon on International Holocaust Memorial Day? Only if one believes that is a day in which Israeli politicians have immunity from being caricatured.”

Mr. Scarfe is one of Britain’s best-known cartoonists and his works has appeared in The Sunday Times since 1967. The Jewish Chronicle quoted Mr. Scarfe as saying he “very much regrets” the timing the cartoon’s publication. In a message to the newspaper, he “said that he had not been aware it was Holocaust Memorial Day,” The Jewish Chronicle reported.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body for British Jews, said it had complained to the Press Complaints Commission, the body by which British newspapers regulate themselves.

Like, Mr. Pollard, the board said the cartoon “is shockingly reminiscent of the blood libel imagery more usually found in parts of the virulently anti-Semitic Arab press.”

Initially, The Sunday Times defended its decision to publish the cartoon, British news reports said, saying it was “aimed squarely at Mr. Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people. It appeared yesterday because Mr. Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week.”

But Martin Ivens, the acting editor of The Sunday Times, said the newspaper would not countenance insults to the memory of Holocaust victims or blood libel, a term denoting medieval superstitions falsely accusing Jews of using the blood of children in rituals.

“The paper has long written strongly in defense of Israel and its security concerns, as have I as a columnist,” he said in a statement published by the Press Association news agency. “We are, however, reminded of the sensitivities in this area by the reaction to the cartoon, and I will, of course, bear them very carefully in mind in future.”

Mr. Ivens planned to meet British Jewish leaders on Tuesday to apologize in person for the cartoon.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/world/europe/murdoch-apologizes-for-grotesque-netanyahu-cartoon.html?partner=rss&emc=rss