23 July 2012
Rupert Murdoch has stepped down as a director of News International, in a move that will fuel speculation the media mogul is preparing to sell off his UK newspapers. In an email sent on Saturday, staff at The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun were told that Murdoch remained "fully committed" as chairman despite relinquishing positions on a number of UK boards, including NI Group. The move is in line with plans to restructure his News Corporation empire. Murdoch has already outlined plans to split the group into two. Under the proposals, a largely US-based media empire consisting of Fox TV, the 20th Century Fox film studio and other entertainment assets, will be separated from the publishing businesses, including The Wall Street Journal, alongside Murdoch's UK and Australian newspapers and HarperCollins book publishing. In line with that strategy, Murdoch has also resigned from the boards of a dozen companies with interests in the US, Australia and India, it was revealed. It is thought that he resigned as director at some point over the last week.