Under pressure to restructure his global holdings, media baron Rupert Murdoch has resigned from a string of directorships controlling his News Corporation’s UK titles and those in India, US and Australia, fuelling speculation that he may be preparing to sell his newspaper group here.

In June, 81-year-old Murdoch had announced the separation of newspapers from the lucrative film and television divisions of parent company News Corp.

His latest move has fuelled speculation that his UK titles may be sold off to prevent the phone-hacking row from affecting lucrative divisions of his empire.

In an email sent yesterday, 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 the News International Group.

A News International spokesman said: “Last week, Mr Murdoch stepped down from a number of boards, many of them small subsidiary boards, both in the UK and US. This is nothing more than a corporate house-cleaning exercise prior to the company split.”

Mr Murdoch, Chief Executive of News Corp, resigned from roles in News Corp Investments, News International Group Ltd and Times Newspaper Holdings in the UK last week.

He has also stepped down from boards in the US, Australia and India.

(This article was published on July 22, 2012)
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