Rupert Murdoch has said the News of the World tabloid newspaper should have been shut down years ago.
Speaking at the Leveson media ethics inquiry in London, the News Corporation chairman said he and his son James, also a top executive with the company, were “shielded” from a phone-hacking culture at the British newspaper.
He said the eventual closure of the paper last year was sudden, but the right thing to do.
“I panicked, but I am glad I did,” Murdoch told the inquiry.
“I am sorry I didn’t close it years before and put a Sunday Sun in,” he continued, referring to the daily tabloid ‘The Sun’.
“All I can do is apologise to a lot of people, including all the innocent people at News of the World who lost their jobs.”
The 81-year-old admitted that he could have done more to nip the scandal at the News of the World in the bud.
He said he was guilty of not having paid enough attention to the paper.
It was Murdoch’s second day of giving evidence; earlier testimony had focused on his political influence.