LONDON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- James Murdoch left as director of News Group Newspapers, owner of the defunct News of the World, the tabloid at the root of the British phone hacking scandal.
Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, said he wouldn't step down from the boards of News Corp. or British Sky Broadcasting Group but did resign from directorships associated with the day-to day operations of several British newspapers in September, The Guardian reported Wednesday. The actions only came to light recently, The Guardian said.
His departure has sparked talk that the business is preparing to sell off all of its newspaper interests in Britain to try to stop the phone hacking scandal from affecting News Corp. more than it already has, The Daily Telegraph reported.
News Group Newspapers owns The Sun and the shuttered News of the World. Murdoch also resigned from Times Newspapers Ltd., parent to The Times and the Sunday Times as he moves from London to New York, officials said.
News Group Newspapers has been named in several lawsuits for alleged invasions of privacy arising from the phone hacking scandal.
News Corp., the overarching parent company, characterized James Murdoch's departure from the boards as no big deal and said he would remain executive chairman of News International, the operation that runs the company's three British newspapers.
"Nobody should read too much into the changes," an insider told the Guardian.