Rupert Murdoch accepted the resignations of The Wall Street Journal's publisher and the chief of his British operations on Friday as the once-defiant media mogul struggled to control an escalating phone hacking scandal, offering apologies to the public and the family of a murdered schoolgirl.
The scandal has knocked billions off the value of Murdoch's News Corp., scuttled his ambitions to take control of a lucrative satellite TV company, withered his political power in Britain - and is threatening to destabilize his globe-spanning empire.
The controversy claimed its first Murdoch executive in the United States as Les Hinton, chief executive of the Murdoch-owned Dow Jones & Co. and publisher of the Wall Street Journal, announced he was resigning with immediate effect.
Murdoch's British lieutenant, Rebekah Brooks, stepped down earlier Friday.
Hinton, 67, has worked for Murdoch's News Corp. for 52 years and is one of the media baron's staunchest allies. He became head of Dow Jones in December 2007.