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News Corp. cuts Murdoch's '12 bonus, citing scandal

NEW YORK -- News Corp. (NWSA) has cut this year's bonuses for four top executives, including mogul Rupert Murdoch and his son James, after a phone-hacking scandal at the now-shuttered British newspaper The News of the World, a regulatory filing showed.

News Corp's compensation committee said in a filing on Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it “determined to award only half of the qualitative portion of the annual bonuses” to four top executives in fiscal year 2012.

The committee said it took into account the fallout from the hacking scandal, which has so far included litigation and settlement expenses, the closure of The News of the World and the withdrawal of its proposal to buy BSkyB.

As a result, Murdoch, the company's 81-year-old chairman and chief executive, earned a bonus of US$10.4 million in fiscal year 2012, which ended on June 30, the filing said.

Murdoch's son and News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer James earned a bonus of US$5 million, the filing stated. The filing noted that James Murdoch declined to take his US$6 million bonus in fiscal year 2011 as a result of the hacking scandal.

News Corp. Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David DeVoe and Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey were also affected by the bonus cuts, the filing stated. DeVoe received an annual bonus of US$4.17 million, while Carey took home US$8.3 million, according to the filing.

Rupert Murdoch's total compensation in fiscal year 2012 was just over US$30 million, compared with US$33.3 million in 2011, according to the filing. His son James took home US$16.8 million in total compensation, compared with US$11.9 million the year before, the filing said.

A spokeswoman for News Corp. declined to comment beyond the proxy filing.

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