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TheStreet Open House

Murdoch Empire at Risk in Hacking Scandal

Stocks in this article: NWSABSY

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- News Corp. (NWSA)head Rupert Murdoch is throwing his support behind former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks amid the newspaper's hacking scandal.

Murdoch said Brooks, who is now the head of News International, part of Murdoch's media empire, will continue to lead despite pressure by officials for her resignation.

Tabloid News of the World is facing allegations of hacking a missing 13-year-old girl's phone in 2002, deleting messages and interfering with police activity.

On Tuesday, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the allegations and demanded an investigation.

Murdoch said the company will comply with the investigation.

News of the World also previously has been sued by celebrities, politicians and athletes, regarding claims of phone hacking. The company has apologized and offered to settle some of these cases.

The scandal poses a significant threat to Murdoch's media empire, which is currently in the process of planning a takeover of British Sky Broadcasting (BSY).

As of last week, the deal was believed to be as good as done, but Britain's media regulators said on Wednesday that it is assessing whether News Corp. is fit to hold a broadcasting license.

"In the light of the current public debate about phone hacking and other allegations, Ofcom confirms that it has a duty to be satisfied on an ongoing basis that the holder of a broadcasting license is 'fit and proper'," it said in a statement.

Ford (F) said it is pulling ads from News of the World until the hacking scandal is investigated. T-Mobile also expressed on Twitter that it is reviewing its advertising position with the paper.

Shares of News Corp. fell 4.6% to $17.25 in afternoon trading.

- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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