Director purge at Times papers after Murdoch's legal undertakings end

Director purge at Times and Sunday Times after Murdoch's legal undertakings end

David Rhodes News UK

The Times and Sunday Times have cleared out nearly all their company directors after the Government allowed Rupert Murdoch to ditch legal undertakings adopted in 1981 when he bought the papers.

According to Companies House, resignations of 17 company directors of Times Newspapers Holdings Ltd were filed at the start of this week. They held their final board meeting last week.

In February Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries formally released News UK from legal undertakings to keep The Times and The Sunday Times separate, which were put in place when Murdoch bought the papers in 1981 as he already owned The Sun and the News of the World.

The undertakings meant the Times papers had to appoint six independent directors under whose supervision they were required to remain editorially separate and independent.

The end of the undertakings mean the six independent directors are no longer legally required – although News UK proposed instead to set up an independent committee of at least three members to monitor and mediate any disputes about independence.

As well as the independent directors, a number of national directors on Times Newspapers Holdings Ltd also resigned this week.

The full list of TNHL directors who resigned, with the year they were appointed to the board, is as follows:

  • Former Independent business editor Baroness Sarah Hogg; 2014
  • Times deputy editor Tony Gallagher; 2020
  • Former Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens; 2020
  • Kai Diekmann, former editor of German newspaper Welt am Sonntag; 2010
  • Former Times editor Peter Stothard; 2005
  • Former PA chief executive Paul Potts; 2019
  • Stephen Grabiner, former Daily Telegraph managing director; 2012
  • Ex-News International corporate affairs director Jane Reed; 2002
  • Lord Brian Griffiths of Fforestfach; pre-1992
  • Ex-Times and Sunday Times group managing editor Anoushka Healy, later News Corp chief strategy officer; 2010
  • Ex-MI6 boss Sir John McLeod Scarlett; 2010
  • Prudence Macleod, Rupert Murdoch’s eldest child; 2010
  • Baron Jonathan Hill of Oareford; 2017
  • Times group managing editor Craig Tregurtha; 2013
  • Former News Corp chairman Andrew Knight; pre-1992
  • Sunday Times deputy editor Ben Taylor; 2020
  • Sir Andrew Likierman, former dean of the London Business School; 2015

The remaining directors are chief executive Rebekah Brooks and chief financial officer Chris Longcroft.

Pictures: Press Gazette and News UK



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1 thought on “Director purge at Times and Sunday Times after Murdoch's legal undertakings end”

  1. Hopefully the buyers of Archant will take note and follow suit

    If everyone with the word ‘ director’ in their Archant job title were to be red carded from the company not only would the salary bill be dramatically reduced but there would be little or no adverse impact on the business and morale would very likely increase , most have been in their roles far too long, a decade or more in many cases,drawing high salaries,large bonus/packages while overseeing huge underperformce and offering little or nothing to the company in return

    Time for new owners to shake the tree and offload all the tired old deadwood and those who were over promoted and out of their depths and who have been holding the company back for far too long

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