Rupert Murdoch also appears to suggest in the recording, broadcast by Channel 4 News, that any journalists who were convicted and jailed in connection with the phone-hacking inquiry could get their jobs back. He is heard saying:
I will do everything in my power to give you total support, even if you're convicted and get six months or whatever.
You're all innocent until proven guilty. What you're asking is: what happens if some of you are proven guilty? What afterwards?
I'm not allowed to promise you - I will promise you continued health support - but your jobs. I've got to be careful what comes out - but, frankly, I won't say it, but just trust me.
A spokesman for News Corp told Channel 4 News: "Rupert Murdoch has shown understandable empathy with the staff and families affected and will assume they are innocent until and unless proven guilty."
More top news
Rescue workers resume the search for survivors after a 6.5 quake struck the north-east of Sumatra killing over 100.
Rain will clear in the north later today as temperatures in the south look set to hit up to 14 or 15 Celsius (57 or 59 F).
The Hollywood actor and environmental campaigner met the president-elect to discuss the economic advantage of green policies.