News International sent out an email today informing staffers that Rupert Murdoch last week resigned as director of News International and a string of other companies connected with the company’s London-based newspaper holdings. The email said Murdoch’s resignation is “part of the preparation of the business for the upcoming restructure into two companies.” Filings show Murdoch stepped down as the head of News International, Times Newspaper Holdings, and News Corp Investments last week. Newscorp has stated the resignations are “nothing more than a corporate housecleaning” before the company splits into separate publishing and entertainment businesses. Murdoch had previously stated he intends to remain as chairman of both companies. In February, son James Murdoch relinquished his position as executive chairman of News International. Analysts think both Murdochs want to abandon their role in UK publishing because of the phone-hacking scandal and probes.

Just now the Wall Street Journal, which Murdoch owns, reported:

News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch has quit the boards of several company subsidiaries as part of preparations for the coming split of the media giant into two companies, News Corp said. The boards include that of News International, the holding company of News Corp’s UK newspapers, said a person familiar with the situation. Other boards are in the United States, Australia and India.

“Last week, Mr. Murdoch stepped down from a number of boards, many of them small subsidiary boards, both in the UK and U.S. This is nothing more than a corporate housecleaning exercise prior to the Company split,” a spokesman said in an emailed statement.

News Corp. disclosed plans late last month to separate its entertainment
businesses from its publishing operations. Mr. Murdoch will remain chairman of both companies as well as CEO of the entertainment company, which makes up the bulk of the existing company. News Corp. hasn’t said who will be CEO of the publishing company, whose businesses will include The Wall Street Journal as well as the company’s UK and Australian newspapers.

Related: Rupert Murdoch Says Split Plan Not A Reaction To UK Scandals

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