Les Hinton’s Exposure: WSJ Publisher Teeters on Edge of a Scandal’s Abyss


Update, 4:15 p.m. July 15: He’s out. WSJ itself reports: “Les Hinton, chief executive of News Corp.’s Dow Jones unit, is expected to resign today.”

Update, 4:43 p.m. July 15: He’s officially out.

How much longer can Les Hinton last as CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of the Wall Street Journal? He had planned to retire next year, so it’s been said, but he won’t last that long. The phone-hacking shitstorm that’s got the U.K. in an uproar has washed up on our shores, and the FBI and publicity-hound-dog congressman Pete King are slavering after Rupert Murdoch and his minions for trying to hack into the lives of 9-11 victims. An employee of Murdoch’s for 52 years — think of him as Waylon Smithers — Hinton would seem unlikely to be forced out of anything.

But Murdoch just about has to kick him upstairs, at least. Hinton seems like an okay bloke, but until Murdoch sent him here in December 2007 to run the WSJ, Hinton was the head of News International, the boss of Rupert’s nasty, phone-hacking British papers and a guy who had signed off on what later turned out to be a bullshit internal investigation. The Guardian (U.K.) is all over this Murdoch scandal; see “Focus of phone-hacking investigation shifts to Les Hinton.” Hinton’s taking serious heat, adds the Financial Times.