Rebekah Brooks rejoins boards of key News Corp UK companies

Rebekah Brooks' return to the top of British media is complete as she has rejoined the boards of all News Corporation's key UK subsidiaries.

Rebekah Brooks: she has rejoined the boards of key News Corp UK companies
Rebekah Brooks: she has rejoined the boards of key News Corp UK companies

She has been formally appointed as a director of News Group Newspapers and Times Newspapers, the operating companies of The Sun and The Times, respectively.

Brooks has also rejoined as a director of Times Newspapers Holdings, the editorial board that oversees the editorial independence of The Times, and News Corp UK & Ireland, the main London operating company.

She returned as chief executive of News UK at the start of September, but Companies House filings show it took until this month for the US parent company to appoint her as a director of the UK operating companies. The filings were published at the end of last week.

Brooks resigned all those directorships in summer 2011 at the height of the phone-hacking scandal when she quit as chief executive of what was then known as News International, before its rebrand as News UK.

Although it is common practice for the most senior executive in an organisation to be a director of its main UK operating companies, there is no obligation under Companies House rules.

James Murdoch quit as a director of most of News Corporation’s UK companies in autumn 2011, despite remaining in charge of News International until the following year.

His father, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corporation, resigned most of his UK directorships in 2008, when he began handing responsibilty to James Murdoch.

Brooks was cleared of all charges in the phone-hacking trial in 2014 and her return to head the UK operation was seen as a watershed moment as Rupert Murdoch’s company has managed to overcome the criminal and legal inquiries that it faced.

In a sign of his renewed influence, Murdoch hosted a Christmas party in London this week that was attended by prime minister David Cameron, chancellor George Osborne and Brooks.

One of Brooks' first moves since returning to News UK has been to axe The Sun’s internet paywall and move to an advertising-funded model.

News UK has also ended its three-year relationship with creative agency Grey in favour of CHI & Partners.

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