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Murdoch's News International announces new name

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 10:10 AM EDT, Wed June 26, 2013
Rupert Murdoch renames his UK newspaper group after being hit by the phone hacking scandal.
Rupert Murdoch renames his UK newspaper group after being hit by the phone hacking scandal.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • News International, the UK arm of Murdoch's News Corp., is now News UK
  • The renaming follows changes "taken place to address the problems of the recent past"
  • News UK says new policies have been put in place following the phone hacking scandal
  • News Corp. is splitting into two parts, one holding publishing assets and the other TV and film

London (CNN) -- News International, the UK subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. that publishes newspapers including The Sun and The Times of London, announced a new name Wednesday: News UK.

The rebranding follows a troubled period for News International, hit by a phone hacking scandal.

READ: Lawyer for Jolie's body double: More hacking cases against News Corp.

It comes as News Corp. splits into two pieces, with one company encompassing its television and film assets, and the other holding its publishing entities.

The separation into two distinct publicly traded companies, 21st Century Fox and the new News Corp., is expected Friday.

The new name for News International, News UK, is "designed to convey a more coherent and logical identity for the new parent company across the globe," a company statement said.

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The rebranding is being mirrored in Australia, where News Limited -- the company from which Murdoch built up his media empire -- will become known as News Corp. Australia.

Both companies will become part of the new News Corp,. which will be incorporated on the NASDAQ on Friday, the News UK statement said.

"The change follows the fundamental changes of governance and personnel that have taken place to address the problems of the recent past," it said.

"News International apologized to its victims and set up a compensation scheme; closed the News of the World and co-operated with all the relevant authorities.

"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."

News International was forced to close News of the World, its bestselling Sunday tabloid, in July 2011 amid anger over allegations an investigator working for the paper had in 2002 hacked the voice mail of a missing 13-year-old girl, Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered.

Since then, a number of former News International staff have been charged with criminal offenses and await trial.

They include Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World and Sun editor who served as chief executive of News International from 2009 until 2011, and former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who went on to work for Prime Minister David Cameron but subsequently resigned. They deny wrongdoing.

Several journalists working for The Sun have also been charged in connection with two police investigations into alleged media abuses. One inquiry is looking into claims of phone hacking, while the other is probing allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

READ: Murdoch settles phone-hacking claim with Hugh Grant, others

In a sign of an editorial shakeup at the newspaper, Dominic Mohan was replaced as editor of The Sun last week. Mohan, who had been at the paper for 17 years and was its editor since 2009, is moving to a senior role advising the chief executive of the new News Corp. David Dinsmore took over as editor of The Sun on Monday.

Mike Darcey, chief executive of News UK, said: "This is an exciting time and I feel privileged to be leading News UK as it begins a bright new chapter.

"With new people and a new strategy, we will take our place within a new company determined to secure a sustainable future for professional journalism around the globe."

According to the News Corp. website, the global company had total assets as of March 31, 2013, of approximately $68 billion and total annual revenues of approximately $35 billion.

READ: Timeline of UK phone hacking scandal

READ: May 2012 - Rupert Murdoch not fit to run business, UK lawmakers rule

READ: Ex-Murdoch executive in court over phone hacking

CNN's Susannah Palk contributed to this report.

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