Murdoch rebrands British unit following hacking scandal
The British newspaper unit of Rupert Murdoch's media empire said today that it was changing its name from News International to 'News UK' as it seeks to rebuild the brand following the phone-hacking scandal.world Updated: Jun 26, 2013 16:21 IST
The British newspaper unit of Rupert Murdoch's media empire said on Wednesday that it was changing its name from News International to 'News UK' as it seeks to rebuild the brand following the phone-hacking scandal.
The renaming of News International, which owns The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times, comes ahead of the completion on Friday of a major reorganisation of Murdoch's global News Corp.
Shareholders this month gave the go-ahead to a plan to split the media group into two distinct firms in a bid to insulate its profitable entertainment assets from slumping newspaper revenues.
London-based News International said its new name and logo, which take effect immediately, reflected the company's "ongoing commitment" to the British market.
"The change follows the fundamental changes of governance and personnel that have taken place to address the problems of the recent past," it added.
Murdoch abruptly shut down the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid in July 2011 after it emerged that it had accessed the voicemails of high-profile figures including a murdered schoolgirl.
"News International apologised to its victims and set up a compensation scheme, closed the News of the World and co-operated with all the relevant authorities," a company statement said.
"New policies and procedures are in place across the company, its main titles are all under new leadership and the executive team has been transformed."
The rebranding comes three days after a new editor took over at The Sun. Dominic Mohan, editor since 2009, will take a new advisory role in News Corp and will be replaced by David Dinsmore.
Murdoch's Australian business, News Limited, also announced on Wednesday that it would be known from July 1 as News Corp Australia.
On Friday, the reorganisation of the tycoon's global empire will be finalised when two new companies arising from News Corp are incorporated on the Nasdaq.
One company will focus on news and publishing, and retain the News Corp name, and the other will cover TV and film and be known as 21st Century Fox.
"This is an exciting time and I feel privileged to be leading News UK as it begins a bright new chapter," said the British company's chief executive, Mike Darcey.
More embarrassing revelations are on the horizon, however, as former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks goes on trial in September on charges related to the hacking scandal.
She will appear alongside her former colleague Andy Coulson, the ex-communications chief of Prime Minister David Cameron, seven other News International employees and Brooks' husband Charlie.
Several journalists from The Sun have also been charged in a related police investigation into illegal payments to public officials.
First Published: Jun 26, 2013 16:20 IST