How much financial damage does News Corp believe it might endure as a result of its News of the World hacking and bribery scandals? Looks like it depends on what audience executives are addressing. This morning the company sounds concerned in the annual report it filed at SEC — where there are legal consequences for lying: “(W)e are not able to predict the ultimate outcome or cost” of law enforcement investigations in the UK and U.S., it says. The proceedings “could damage our reputation and might impair our ability to conduct our business” in ways that “could affect the Company’s results of operations and financial condition.” But hold on. Last week, Rupert Murdoch told analysts on News Corp’s quarterly earnings call not to worry. “It’s important to note there’s been no material impact on our operations outside of the closure of the News of the World,” he said. “Our broad, diverse global business is extremely robust today. … The drivers of our business are intact and our position is strong and our future is promising.” Indeed, he added that “I’m feeling very confident. I’m shocked and appalled at what happened in one small corner, which is the News of the World. …But everything else is fine.” Which Rupert should we believe?
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