Andy Coulson guilty in phone hacking trial: How hacking scandal punctured the puffed-up House of Murdoch

But has Rupert Murdoch got away with it? Many analysts in America think so

On balance, the hacking verdicts will have been greeted by Rupert Murdoch and his senior lieutenants with a degree of relief.

For the old media baron, there will have been personal delight at the acquittal of a woman he regards almost as another daughter. But spin doctors at News Corp were well aware that Rebekah Brooks was the figure in the dock most associated with its corporate culture and governance. Her being cleared limits the likelihood of further repercussions against the company in the US.

That has to be weighed against the embarrassment of the conviction of Andy Coulson, the former editor of what was once News Corp’s biggest-selling British paper, and the guilty pleas of some of his senior colleagues.

In a statement, News UK, the London-based subsidiary, was careful to sound contrite. “We said long ago, and repeat today, that wrongdoing occurred, and we apologised for it. We have been paying compensation to those affected and have co-operated with investigations,” it said.

Video: The long legal saga

Mr Murdoch has been officially informed that detectives want to interview him as a suspect as part of their inquiry into allegations of crime at his British newspaper, The Guardian reported.

It is all of marked contrast to the late summer of 2006, as officers from Scotland Yard prepared to make their first hacking arrests. Then the great media potentate was toying with British politicians, hinting at his future support for David Cameron and pointedly warning the Prime Minister-in-waiting, Gordon Brown, against calling a snap election. When the hacking scandal re-emerged in 2009, News International dismissed the affair as the work of a “rogue reporter”.

Read more:
Coulson found guilty as Brooks cleared of all charges
Hacking trial: David Cameron issues 'full and frank apology
The scandal that led to press' self-examination

It was only in February 2011, when it set up its management and standards commission – and began co-operating with the Yard’s newly formed Operation Weeting team, that the company seemed to be facing up to the scandal, even if its priority was to minimise civil payments to hacking victims.

The Milly Dowler revelations, which emerged that July, changed everything. Since that moment, the UK company has been seeking to cut ties with its past and re-establish itself as a business of the future. There has also been a concerted attempt to change the corporate culture – or at least convince the outside world of such a transformation.

The entrance “Gatehouse” became television’s stock shot of NI’s Wapping plant during the early years of the scandal. The Gatehouse no longer functions after NI moved to discreet modern offices nearby in 2011. Last year, the company rebranded as News UK, dropping its portcullis-style badge for an open logo inspired by the handwriting of Mr Murdoch and his late father, Keith. Later this year, News Corp hopes to complete this cleansing process by abandoning Wapping after 30 years and crossing the Thames to new premises at The Place, alongside the Shard skyscraper, where journalists will work alongside other News Corp businesses, including the publisher HarperCollins, giving a softer corporate focus.

Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch at an awards ceremony in 2008 – a remarkable friendship that started in 1995 Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch at an awards ceremony in 2008 – a remarkable friendship that started in 1995

Has Mr Murdoch got away with it? Many analysts in the US think so. The influential Business Week ran a cover story on him last year under the headline “The Escape Artist”. No Murdochs were arrested during this protracted scandal. The global empire has kept its US broadcasting licence and its 39 per cent stake in BSkyB, which is set to become a pan-European broadcaster. Rupert retains control of the seven-day Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times. Planet Murdoch is richer than ever and its founder remains in charge.

Video: Cameron's apology for employing Coulson

Hacking, for all the humiliation it caused Mr Murdoch in Britain, and for all its potential implications for his US business, never really crossed the Atlantic.

Read more:
How culture of News of the World's glory days led to its downfall
Coulson's future depends on privacy denied the hacking victims
Rebekah Brooks: How she became famous woman in British media
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam