Just two weeks ago, on July 2, a glittering array of media and political figures were fêted in a sumptuous News Corp. bash held at Cotswald Mansion, the home of Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth. That now seems like another era. Outcry over the hacked phones of 3,870 ordinary Brits, including the erased messages of a murdered 13-year-old girl, Millie Dowler, has hit London’s power elite. The News of the World has been shuttered, and Mr. Murdoch’s planned $12 billion purchase of full control of satellite TV station BSkyB has been blocked. News Corp. has lost approximately $7 billion in value since June 1. Last Friday is being termed “Black Friday” for News Corp. here as both Brooks and a top US executive, Les Hinton, left the firm.
Moreover, the Murdoch empire in Britain, known and feared as kingmakers and opinion-shapers, faces unprecedented revulsion and opposition.