Former ‘NOTW’ Employees Detail System for Paying Sources

Sources tell the NYT that managing editor authorized payments

On the heels of the arrest of former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, The New York Times has new details about the tabloid’s cash payment system.

According to the Times, which spoke to a number of former NOTW employees, the ground floor of the tabloid’s office complex held a cashier’s window where reporters would go whenever they needed cash to pursue an article. Once there, “they simply filled out a green form and, after getting authorization from the managing editor, exchanged it at the window for up to tens of thousands of pounds.”

That managing editor was Kuttner. Former employees told the Times that he personally authorized cash expenses (as did newsroom editors) until his retirement. Those funds, they said, were used as advances on expenses and also to pay sources for articles—including police sources.

So far, the company’s internal review of cash records has turned up more than $200,000 in payments to police officers from the newspaper, sources said. According to one News International official, the records go back to 2002. The review has also been widened to include other News International properties, he said.

This latest investigation into police payments was spurred by a 2003 email exchange between two top editors at the paper, Clive Goodman and Andy Coulson, in which Goodman complained that Kuttner was being stingy with payments, and that he needed to pay his contacts at Scotland Yard.

Kuttner was allegedly very tight with the company’s cash, keeping “meticulous records” of all payments and even calling reporters to demand specific details about their expenses. “He didn’t see it as Rupert’s money you were spending,” one former reporter told the Times. “He saw it as Stuart’s money.”

Things changed after Goodman was arrested for hacking in 2006 and the newspaper moved to a new building, according to former employees. Small payments were given to reporters from a safe in a senior editor’s office, while larger amounts of money were brought in from banks.