HACKGATE DAY 46: Newscorp under investigation by US media Feds, Sun editor joked about phone-hacking in 2002.

Another day, another set of Newscorp horrors.

From America….

More lies, and another impending indictment for a Newscorp medium.

New Jersey station WWOR, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, is under investigation by Federal media watchdogs for allegedly misleading the Government about the scope of its local and news programming, various news outlets reported last week. If it loses – as sources suggest it will, without urgent action to correct the miswritten details given to the FCC – WWOR will lose its licence.

WWOR was granted a licence for New Jersey in the 1980s on the condition it become a New Jersey-based station and employed local talent.

Newscorp has been the subject of persistent criticism from advocacy groups about a dearth of New Jersey-based staff and news resources devoted to the station, which has been rebranded My9 TV from Fox, also a Newscorp group company. WWOR has made deep cuts in its news division in the past few years, and now has only one daily newscast, at 11 PM. For all London Times readers, this evokes less than fond memories of Murdoch ignoring the undertakings he made to non-Exec directors there in the 1960s.

The FCC’s investigation alleges that Newscorp ‘overstated the level of resources devoted to local staff and news since its last major round of cutbacks in 2009’. The cuts were part of a desperate Murdoch bid to alleviate the cash-losses of Newscorp on a number of other ventures, most notably MySpace – referred to by online wags these days as EmptySpace.

In response, Newscorp wrote that it thinks “upon review of all facts and applicable law, the FCC will recognise that these unwarranted claims hold no merit.” Well of course it will.

From the archives…..

Mohan….hack or hacker?

I am indebted to Slogger Mejarmole for pointing me at a media-monkey piece from the Guardian last September, from which the exact age of widespread Fleet Street phone-hacking can be traced back as far as 2002. This relates to a spoof annual awards ceremony – The Shaftas – from that year.

The opposite of Baftas, Shaftas honour the most baseless whopping lies finest inventions ever to have graced the showbiz and TV pages of the national press. All jolly japes and so forth, but look at this extract:

‘The biggest cheers of the night went to Vodafone, which was sponsoring the awards celebrating the worst flyers, showbiz interviews and cock-ups of Fleet Street. The representatives from Vodafone who were attending the awards thought the hacks in the audience were cheering because of the phone company’s sponsorship. Alas no. The then Bizarre editor  Dominic Mohan made a point of thanking sponsors Vodafone for the showbusiness exclusives of his rival, the Daily Mirror. Cue nonplussed looks on the Vodafone bigwigs’ faces.’

Dominic Mohan is now the editor of The Sun. He was present at the recent meeting between Ed Miliband and the Wapping Big Chiefs revealed by Kevin Maguire. Also at the meeting was Newscorp CEO Rebekah Brooks, who appointed Mohan as Sun Editor. Ms Brooks is said to be facing questions from the Met Police about some of her activities when she too was editor at The Currant Bun.

Draw your own conclusions.