|Born||Leslie Frank Hinton
19 February 1944
Bootle, Merseyside, United Kingdom
|Citizenship||United States (naturalized 1986)|
|Occupation||former CEO of
Dow Jones & Company
Mary Christine Weadick (m. 1968–2009)
|Children||4 sons, 1 daughter|
|Parents||Frank Arthur Hinton
Lilian Amy (née Bruce)
Leslie Frank "Les" Hinton (born 19 February 1944) is a British-American journalist and business executive whose career with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation spanned more than fifty years. Hinton worked in newspapers, magazines and television as a reporter, editor and executive in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States and became an American citizen in 1986. He was appointed CEO of Dow Jones & Company in December 2007, after its acquisition by News Corp. Hinton has variously been described as Murdoch's "hitman"; one of his "most trusted lieutenants"; and an "astute political operator". On 15 July 2011, he resigned from Dow Jones & Co as a result of a journalistic ethics scandal at The News of the World, a British tabloid published by News Corp subsidiary, News International, where Hinton had previously been executive chairman.
Hinton, the son of a British Army chef, was born in Bootle, a working-class area of Merseyside. He travelled with his family as his father was posted around the world, attending Army schools in Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Germany, and Singapore, as well as Liverpool. He had little formal education after failing his Eleven-plus, and in 1959 left school at the age of 15 and emigrated to Australia.
Except for a few years in London in the 1960s, Hinton spent his entire career with Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation. He began work as a copy boy in 1959 at the Adelaide News in South Australia, where 28 year old Murdoch was managing director. One of his first tasks was to bring Murdoch his lunchtime sandwiches. After finishing his training as a journalist, Hinton moved to London, where he worked as a reporter at United Press International, and the then-broadsheet newspaper The Sun, before Murdoch acquired it in 1969. As a reporter, Hinton was injured while covering the Northern Ireland conflict and in 1976 he was appointed foreign correspondent for the group's newspapers and moved to New York. Hinton later worked as associate editor of the Boston Herald and editor-in-chief of Star (magazine).
In 1990, Hinton became president of Murdoch Magazines and then president and chief executive officer of News America Publishing, responsible for the company's US publishing operations. In 1993, he was appointed chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations, returning to London in 1995 as executive chairman of News Corp subsidiary News International Limited, Britain's largest national newspaper publisher.
In 2007, Hinton returned to the United States as CEO of Dow Jones & Company and publisher of The Wall Street Journal. In 2009, in a speech to the World Association of Newspapers in Hyderabad, Hinton criticized Google and the "false gospel" of the Internet, and called for the newspaper industry to charge for digital content: "Free costs too much. News is a business and we should not be afraid to say it. These digital visionaries...talk about the wonders of the interconnected world, about the democratization of journalism...Well, I think all of us need to beware of geeks bearing gifts."
Phone hacking scandal and parliamentary hearings
On 15 July 2011, Les Hinton resigned as publisher of The Wall Street Journal as a result of the unfolding journalistic ethics scandal at News International, where Hinton had been executive chairman until 2007. In his resignation letter to Murdoch, Hinton said that although he was "ignorant of what apparently happened...I feel it is proper for me to resign". Upon his departure, The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial praising Hinton's contribution to returning the paper to profitability "amid a terrible business climate".
On 1 May 2012, the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee published a report in which it accused Hinton and others of misleading it during its enquiries into the phone hacking scandal. It also said that Hinton had been 'complicit in the cover-up' at News International. In a 'robust rebuttal letter' to the Committee, Hinton denied both allegations, describing them as 'unfair, unfounded and erroneous' and based on 'a selective and misleading analysis of my testimonies'.
During a debate on 22 May 2012, the House of Commons refused to endorse the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's report, and instead referred the case to its own ethics watchdog, the Standards and Privileges Committee, for further investigation.
Hinton and his long-time partner Kath Raymond married in 2009, with Piers Morgan, Rebekah Brooks, and Andy Coulson invited to the later celebration. They live in a townhouse on Manhattan's upper east side. Raymond, an advisor to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2007–2008, and to former Home Secretary David Blunkett before that, wrote briefly for The Daily Telegraph from New York City.
- The Guardian, 31 August 2006, The Jane Martinson interview
- "Leslie Frank Hinton" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). People of Today. Debrett's Ltd. 2009. GALE|K2413034805 . Retrieved 17 July 2011. Gale Biography In Context.
- "Les Hinton, Esq's Biography". Debretts.com. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- Wall Street Journal http://topics.wsj.com/person/L/les-hinton/775?mod=DNH_S_tp
- "Les Hinton - News, Articles, Biography, Photos". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- Jeremy W. Peters (15 July 2011). "Les Hinton’s Resignation Letters". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- Feola, Katie. "Murdochgate Moves to New York, Focus on Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton". Adweek. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- John F. Burns; Jeremy W. Peters (15 July 2011). "2 Top Deputies Resign as Crisis Isolates Murdoch". The New York Times.
- Reuters, 15 July 2012 Les Hinton's Resignation Letters
- "News Corp's Les Hinton 'resigns'". BBC News. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- The Independent, 1 May 2012
- The Guardian, 14 May 2012 Les Hinton hits back over MPs' phone-hacking report
- Mark D'Arcy, BBC, 22 May 2012 Fair Hearing
- Could Murdoch deputy Hinton take the fall?, Reuters, 10 July 2011
- "Murdoch matrimony". Londonersdiary.standard.co.uk. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- "News of the Wapping nuptials". Londonersdiary.standard.co.uk. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- "Home news: Les has 'a bit of internal domestic discussion'". The Guardian (London). 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- "By Kath Hinton". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- James Robinson (2009-07-08). "Les Hinton: Murdoch consigliere who smoothed waters after Goodman case". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- "Brown-nosing at the Sun". The Guardian (London). 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- Profile at Dow Jones & Company and WSJ CEO Council
- Les Hinton collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Les Hinton collected news and commentary at The Independent
- Les Hinton collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Les Hinton collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
- Les Hinton tells newspapers – 'Beware geeks bearing gifts', Laura Oliver, Journalism.co.uk, 2 December 2009
- Audit Notes: Les Hinton, Translating Murdoch Jr., UK Tabloid Culture, Ryan Chittum, Colombia Journalism Review, 8 July 2011
- Les Hinton, Resignation letter Les Hinton to The Wall Street Journal staff, 15 July 2011
- Les Hinton, Resignation letter Les Hinton to Rupert Murdoch, 15 July 2011