Murdoch's Right-Hand Man Quits Over Scandal

The phone-hacking scandal has claimed its biggest victim so far - one of Rupert Murdoch's most trusted executives, Les Hinton.

Mr Hinton was head of News International (NI) - owned by Mr Murdoch's News Corporation - from 1995 to 2007. Hinton has now stood down as Dow Jones boss.

The move came after former News Of The World editor Rebekah Brooks bowed to pressure by quitting her role as NI chief executive.

Ms Brooks was at the helm of NOTW - owned by NI - when missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone was hacked and messages were deleted. She was later found murdered.

Mr Hinton and Ms Brooks' resignations intensified the 'media storm' surrounding NI - with Mr Murdoch putting his name to an apology printed in newspapers for "serious wrong-doing".

He also met the murder victim's family to apologise.

The 80-year-old paid tribute to Mr Hinton, who worked for him for 52 years, saying they had enjoyed a "remarkable journey together".

Mr Murdoch said: "News Corporation is not Rupert Murdoch.

"It is the collective creativity and effort of many thousands of people around the world, and few individuals have given more to this company than Les Hinton."

The Sun, another of the tycoon's titles, was also dragged into the scandal when the actor Jude Law accused it of phone hacking.

He is suing the tabloid, claiming it published four stories about him in 2005 and 2006 that came from hacked intercepted voicemails.

Mr Murdoch had tried to put a lid on the scandal rocking his media empire by meeting Milly's family.

The "humbled" media mogul gave a "full and sincere apology" to the girl's parents Sally and Bob and her sister Gemma at a meeting in a central London hotel on Friday.

The adverts published in Saturday's newspapers said: "We are sorry. The News Of The World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself."

A second advert will appear in newspapers on Sunday and Monday.

It will outline the steps that News International and parent company News Corp have taken to investigate and address previous wrongdoing and prevent it from happening again.

Ms Brooks had said her resignation would allow her time to give full co-operation to the police investigation into phone hacking and police bribes, the judge-led inquiry launched by Mr Cameron, and her appearance alongside Rupert and James Murdoch before the House of Commons Culture Committee on Tuesday.

She was swiftly replaced as News International chief executive by Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge.