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Les Hinton

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Les Hinton

Les Hinton
Born Leslie Frank Hinton
(1944-02-19) 19 February 1944
Bootle, Lancashire, United Kingdom[1]
Citizenship United States (naturalized 1986)
Occupation former CEO of
Dow Jones & Company
Spouse(s) Mary Christine Weadick (m. 1968–2009)
Kath Raymond (m. 2009)
Children 4 sons, 1 daughter
Parent(s) Frank Arthur Hinton
Lilian Amy (née Bruce)

Leslie Frank "Les" Hinton (born 19 February 1944)[3] is a British-American journalist and business executive whose career with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation spanned more than fifty years.[4] Hinton worked in newspapers, magazines and television as a reporter, editor and executive in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States and became an American citizen in 1986.[5] He was appointed CEO of Dow Jones & Company in December 2007, after its acquisition by News Corp. Hinton has variously been described as Murdoch's "hitman"; one of his "most trusted lieutenants"; and an "astute political operator".[6] On 15 July 2011, he resigned from Dow Jones & Co as a result of a journalistic ethics scandal at The News of the World, a British tabloid published by News Corp subsidiary, News International, where Hinton had previously been executive chairman.

Early life

Hinton, the son of a British Army chef, was born in Bootle, a working-class area of Lancashire.[7] He travelled with his family as his father was posted around the world, attending Army schools in Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Germany, and Singapore, as well as Liverpool.[8] He had little formal education after failing his Eleven-plus, and in 1959 left school at the age of 15 and emigrated to Australia.[9]

News Corporation

Except for a few years in London in the 1960s, Hinton spent his entire career with Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation.[10] He began work as a copy boy in 1959 at the Adelaide News in South Australia, where 28-year-old Murdoch was managing director. One of his first tasks was to bring Murdoch his lunchtime sandwiches.[11] After finishing his training as a journalist, Hinton moved to London, where he worked as a reporter at United Press International,[12] and the then-broadsheet newspaper The Sun, before Murdoch acquired it in 1969. As a reporter, Hinton was injured while covering the Northern Ireland conflict[13] and in 1976 he was appointed foreign correspondent for the group's newspapers and moved to New York. Hinton later worked as associate editor of the Boston Herald and editor-in-chief of Star (magazine).

In 1990, Hinton became president of Murdoch Magazines and then president and chief executive officer of News America Publishing, responsible for the company's US publishing operations. In 1993, he was appointed chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations, returning to London in 1995 as executive chairman of News Corp subsidiary News International Limited, Britain's largest national newspaper publisher.[7]

In 2007, Hinton returned to the United States as CEO of Dow Jones & Company and publisher of The Wall Street Journal. In 2009, in a speech to the World Association of Newspapers in Hyderabad, Hinton criticized Google and the "false gospel" of the Internet, and called for the newspaper industry to charge for digital content: "Free costs too much. News is a business and we should not be afraid to say it. These digital about the wonders of the interconnected world, about the democratization of journalism...Well, I think all of us need to beware of geeks bearing gifts."[14]

Phone hacking scandal and parliamentary hearings

On 15 July 2011, Les Hinton resigned as publisher of The Wall Street Journal[15] as a result of the unfolding journalistic ethics scandal at News International, where Hinton had been executive chairman until 2007. In his resignation letter to Murdoch, Hinton said that although he was "ignorant of what apparently happened...I feel it is proper for me to resign".[16][17] Upon his departure, The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial praising Hinton's contribution to returning the paper to profitability "amid a terrible business climate".[18]

On 1 May 2012, the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee published a report in which it accused Hinton and others of misleading it during its enquiries into the phone hacking scandal. It also said that Hinton had been 'complicit in the cover-up' at News International.[19] In a 'robust rebuttal letter'[20] to the Committee, Hinton denied both allegations, describing them as 'unfair, unfounded and erroneous' and based on 'a selective and misleading analysis of my testimonies'.[21]

During a debate on 22 May 2012, the House of Commons refused to endorse the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's report, and instead referred the case to its own ethics watchdog, the Standards and Privileges Committee, for further investigation.[22]

Personal life

Hinton and his long-time partner Kath Raymond married in 2009, with Rebekah Brooks, and Andy Coulson invited to the later celebration. They live in a townhouse on Manhattan's upper east side. Raymond, an advisor to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2007–2008, and to former Home Secretary David Blunkett before that, wrote briefly for The Daily Telegraph from New York City.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29]

See also


  1. ^ The Guardian, 31 August 2006, The Jane Martinson interview
  2. ^ Gale Biography In Context.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Wall Street Journal
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Reuters, 15 July 2012 Les Hinton's Resignation Letters
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ The Independent, 1 May 2012
  20. ^ The Guardian, 14 May 2012 Les Hinton hits back over MPs' phone-hacking report
  21. ^ Mark D'Arcy, BBC, 22 May 2012 Fair Hearing
  22. ^
  23. ^ Could Murdoch deputy Hinton take the fall?, Reuters, 10 July 2011
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^

External links

  • Profile at Dow Jones & Company and WSJ CEO Council
  • Les Hinton collected news and commentary at The Guardian
  • Les Hinton collected news and commentary at The Independent
  • Les Hinton collected news and commentary at The New York Times
  • Les Hinton collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
  • Les Hinton tells newspapers – 'Beware geeks bearing gifts', Laura Oliver,, 2 December 2009
  • Audit Notes: Les Hinton, Translating Murdoch Jr., UK Tabloid Culture, Ryan Chittum, Colombia Journalism Review, 8 July 2011
  • Les Hinton, Resignation letter Les Hinton to The Wall Street Journal staff, 15 July 2011
  • Les Hinton, Resignation letter Les Hinton to Rupert Murdoch, 15 July 2011
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