Murdoch hosts film screening amid hacking scandal


A crisis has erupted at media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s London newspapers, but that didn’t stop the News Corp. chief executive and his wife, Wendi, from hosting a screening of a new movie co-produced by Mrs. Murdoch. About 100 invited guests attended the screening of “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” at the Sun Valley Opera House, on the grounds of the resort where the annual Allen & Co. media conference is in full swing. The screening was long-planned, and Murdoch stuck to his hosting duties, despite a deepening phone hacking scandal that led him to close his News of the World tabloid and threatens his other British operations including his takeover bid for broadcaster BSkyB. Murdoch and his wife, who mingled with guests, seemed relaxed and engaged, said a guest. The media baron’s London-based son James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer of News Corp, is taking the lead on handling the crisis over journalists’ hacking into the voice mails of thousands of people from celebrities and newsmakers to the families of deceased soldiers and the phone of a dead girl. The movie, based on a critically acclaimed book, tells the tale of a friendship between two people. It will be released later this month. News Corp. also owns the 20th Century Fox movie studio in Los Angeles.