Media giant Rupert Murdoch has stepped down as the director of a number of boards, including those of British papers, in a move that is seen to indicate Murdoch's News Corp. is distancing itself from the papers.
The announcement from late on Saturday indicated that the boards of The Sun, The Times, and The Sunday Times were British newspapers from which Murdoch would withdraw.
Murdoch may have also stepped down from boards of US companies that belong to News Corp.
News Corp. has recently been hit by scandals, including illegal eavesdropping allegations at the now-defunct News of the World and an allegedly corrupt deal involving News Corp's attempted takeover of British broadcaster BSkyB.
Some observers believe the move shows Murdoch is trying to move away from the publishing side of the News Corp. business, instead focusing on the more profitable media and entertainment aspects.
News International, the British publishing branch of News Corp, said via a spokeswoman that Murdoch's resignations from the boards were "nothing more than a corporate house cleaning excercise prior to the company's split."
The spokeswoman was referring to plans for News Corp. to separate its publishing business from its media and entertainment interests.
mz/jm (AP, Reuters)