Key people to watch as News of the World scandal unfolds

As the News of the World phone hacking scandal broadens, more people are getting swept up in the controversy. Here's a guide to 7 key figures.

1. Rupert Murdoch

Luke MacGregor/Reuters
News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch leaves the offices of News International in London on July 13.

Mr. Murdoch was the owner of the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World, part of his sprawling News Corporation media empire that includes The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. His media holdings and wealth have given him enormous political influence, particularly in Britain, where the scandal is playing out.

British politicians used to be afraid of crossing him, The Christian Science Monitor reported, but now his intimidation factor is crumbling as he scrambles to contain the phone hacking scandal. Murdoch dropped his $12 billion bid to take over the remaining shares of satellite television broadcaster BSkyB, a clear sign that the phone hacking scandal is taking a toll on his media ambitions.

Murdoch and his son testified before a parliamentary panel on the scandal on July 19. The senior Murdoch said that he was unaware of the phone hacking and that he was let down by employees he trusted.

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