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Murdoch quits newspaper boards in UK

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News Corp's Rupert Murdoch has resigned from a number of News Corp subsidiary boards in Britain and the United States, a spokeswoman confirmed.

His resignation on Saturday follows the announcement in June that News Corp would be split into two separate companies: a smaller publishing division and a much larger entertainment and TV group.

Murdoch stepped down as a director of NI Group, Times Newspaper Holdings and News Corp Investments in the UK, Daisy Dunlop, who speaks on behalf of News Corp's British arm, News International, said.

"This is nothing more than a corporate housecleaning exercise prior to the company split," a News International statement said.

It was not immediately clear which of News Corp's US boards Murdoch had left.

"I wanted to let you know that Rupert Murdoch has resigned as director of a number of companies, including NI Group
Limited, known to most of you as News International, and Times Newspapers Holdings Limited," Tom Mockridge, the head of Murdoch's British newspaper arm, said in an internal memo.

"As you may be aware, Rupert resigned from a number of UK boards, including News Group Newspapers and Times Newspapers Limited, some time ago.

The UK media mogul has also stepped down from more than a dozen boards of companies with interests in the US, Australia and India."

Mockridge said the decision formed part of the preparation of the business for the impending restructuring into two
companies.

"He (Murdoch) remains fully committed to our business as chairman of what will become the largest newspaper and digital group in the world," Mockridge said. 

Speculation had risen in the last year that News Corp could seek to sell the British papers, following a phone hacking
scandal at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid that damaged the reputation and value of the company in Britain.

However, Murdoch's devotion to the papers, and the ongoing legal cases stemming from the hacking scandal, had been seen as a barrier to that option.


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