News Corp. Exec Rebekah Brooks Resigns: Behind Her Letter

Last Updated Jul 15, 2011 11:32 AM EDT

Last week, News Corp. (NWS) CEO Rupert Murdoch was 100 percent behind pet executive Rebekah Brooks in the wake of the roiling phone hacking and bribery scandal engulfing the company. But today, Brooks announced her resignation as CEO of News' British newspaper division.

Hey, someone's head had to roll. Here's the text of her resignation letter, annotated for the general reader:

At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones. Translation: We got caught.
The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk. I'll just skip over the part about who put them at risk.
As Chief Executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place. My legal fees will be stunning.
I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate. Someone noticed that the entire News of the World staff got canned but I kept my job.
This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past. For some reason, we're all under suspicion. Don't intentions count for anything?
Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted. Someone had to pay the price, and you knew it wasn't going to be them.
Rupert's wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship. Even being fired -- oh, sorry, having resigned -- I don't want to be on their bad side. They will probably have private investigators on speed dial.
I would like to thank them both for their support. Up yours.
I have worked here for 22 years and I know it to be part of the finest media company in the world. And if Rupe had accomplished what he wanted, it would have been the only media company in the world.
News International is full of talented, professional and honourable people. I am proud to have been part of the team and lucky to know so many brilliant journalists and media executives. So many of whom were canned to save my rear end, little good that it did.
I leave with the happiest of memories and an abundance of friends. None of whom will acknowledge knowing me.
As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive. Did I mention the crisis PR firm bills as well?
My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance. Just my way of saying that my time will be in great demand by the authorities for the foreseeable future.
I am so grateful for all the messages of support. I have nothing but overwhelming respect for you and our millions of readers. The two notes from my mum were touching.
I wish every one of you all the best. Did I remember to say up yours?

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Image: Flickr user ssoosay, CC 2.0.
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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.