LONDON, July 22 (UPI) -- Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has resigned from several corporate boards of British newspapers, his parent corporation said.
The 81-year-old chairman of the international News Corp. stepped away from his roles in the NI Group, the Times Newspaper Holdings and Newscorp Investments, The New York Times reported.
The Australian-born billionaire's publicity staff sent out e-mails to British newspaper employees saying Murdoch's departure wasn't a harbinger of him abandoning such holdings as The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.
A company spokeswoman who didn't want to be identified said Murdoch's resignations were "nothing more than a corporate housecleaning exercise."
The News Corp., headquartered in New York, is valued at $53 billion, but has taken a major battering since early last year when staff at the 168-year-old The News of the World tabloid were caught in a phone-hacking and unethical news-gathering scandal that led to some 50 arrests.
Murdoch ordered the paper shut down and has testified before parliamentary inquiries.
Among his other media holdings are The Wall Street Journal, the Fox Broadcasting television network and the 20th Century Fox film studio.