News Corp plans to do some heavy duty spinning this week. The board meets tomorrow for the first time since the UK phone hacking and police bribery scandals broke open in early July — a prelude to Wednesday when News Corp releases its earnings for the quarter that ended in June. And The Wall Street Journal says directors will look for ways to persuade investors to focus on company operations instead of the scandals. One possibility: Giving shareholders some of the $12B in cash that’s no longer needed to buy BSkyB. That could be done by raising the dividend or announcing a big stock repurchase. But the company still has to figure out how to deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Of The World mess — and that’s why all eyes this week will be on Viet Dinh: He’s the independent director who’s overseeing the company’s investigation into what happened, and will brief the board tomorrow. But how independent is he? Turns out his ties to the Murdoch family are so close that it’s questionable whether he can be objective about the matter a Bloomberg profile this morning shows. Dihn is a godfather to one of Lachlan Murdoch’s kids. A Murdoch owned paper, The South China Morning Post, also helped Dihn free his sister from a refugee camp in Hong Kong for Vietmanese boat people. Bloomberg says Dihn’s law firm, Bancroft Pllc., “advises corporate boards, board members and executives with ‘high-stakes’ problems” and describes it as “the go-to firm for conservatives.”
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