This afternoon, we once again have a Newscorp AGM and as embarrassing details would come out in its finances, we have had what looks like a selective leak to attempt some damage limitation
Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspapers business, received a pay-off totalling more than £7m following her resignation from the newspaper publisher last year.Until now the compensation payment has been reported as being only £1.7 million, and with this afternoons company financial report, this would become an untenable position to hold. And Nosy Journalists would no doubt add two and two together and come up with more than 1.7 million. Awkward question would be asked. Putting it out a day ahead would dilute the impact. Outrage will return with the calculation that Rebekah is getting more than Twice the Cash that was paid to the Dowlers in compensation.
The pay-off consisted of cash and pension payments as well as an allowance for legal fees and the use of a chauffeur-driven car, according to two people with knowledge of her compensation.
It also included clawback clauses, described by one of the two people as “substantial”. These entitle NI to recover some of the payment from Ms Brooks in certain circumstances, according to a third person familiar with the details of her exit package.
Andy Coulson must be feeling absolutely gutted, He’s the stand up guy who’s taken the fall to insulate the company and the government, and Rupert and the boys are putting him in a position where he’s having to risk his family home to pay expensive lawyers fees. Whereas Rebekah seems to be having cash thrown at her
Entirely coincidentally another story appeared in todays Independent
Cameron, Brooks and the emails kept from Leveson - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
Now in the Leveson Inquiry there was a mention of a stack of around fifty text messages between Dave and Rebekah, only one of which was relevant to the Inquiry. A decision that seemed a bit odd at the time. The other 49 would no doubt have established culture and context of communication between The Prime Minister and one of the most powerful media figures in the country.
Private emails between David Cameron and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks have been withheld from the Leveson Inquiry after the Prime Minister sought personal legal advice, The Independent can reveal.
The cache of documents, which runs to dozens of emails and is also thought to include messages sent to Andy Coulson while he was still a Rupert Murdoch employee, was not disclosed after No 10 was advised by a Government lawyer that it was not “relevant” to the inquiry into press standards.
The contents of the private emails are described by sources as containing “embarrassing” exchanges. They hold the potential to cast further light on the close personal relationship between the Prime Minister and two of the media mogul’s most senior lieutenants.
A stack of emails that remained unrevealed seems at least a touch suspicious. But it may be that this is something leaked by Murdochs PR people to distract from rebekahs Cash flow situation so we might be justified in not taking the story entirely at face value.
However while we are questioning the sources, let us look at the two articles together. This could be a sign of ruthless PR and media manipulation by Rupert and his cohorts, or on the other hand it could be the start of staff solidarity unpeeling and coming apart. If we don’t look at it as part of some Grand game, then we have to look at disaffected former staff for part of the Story. Quite a few people will have lost their jobs on minimal redundancy payments, out into a fairly harsh and savage employment world for journalists and newspaper backroom staff. The only people who will have seen this are HR staff and lawyers, The HR staff will all have the stain that is News International on their resume, and being unable to spot crooks can’t enhance the prospects of future employment. The Lawyers involved in this will have been fairly senior, and may have included the very same lawyers who Rupert is trying to blame for being behind the whole Hacking affair.
Former staff are commenting,
Twitter / theboylatch: And I'm not saying boo hoo ...
And I'm not saying boo hoo for me. But 300 people like me got screwed and the woman who helped bring it about gets minted. That's justice.Who knows what other people might know, and they now have perhaps another seven million reasons for feeling betrayed and revealing their knowledge.