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Editor of Britain's Times Newspaper Steps Down

13 Dec 2012

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James Harding, the editor of the Times newspaper arrives to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry

REUTERS

James Harding stepped down as editor of Rupert Murdoch's Times of London on Wednesday in the latest upheaval at the mogul's troubled British newspaper business.

No formal reason was given but Harding indicated the decision had been forced on him in his resignation speech to staff, reports Reuters.

"It has been made clear to me that News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor of The Times," said Harding, who was one of the youngest journalists to get the job when he took over in 2007.

"I have therefore agreed to stand down. I called Rupert this morning to offer my resignation and he accepted it," he said in quotes reported by his own newspaper.

Harding, 43, will leave at the end of the month, according to a statement from News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch's News Corp.

The resignation comes at a tumultuous time for News International after Tom Mockridge stepped down as chief executive last week and in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at the now defunct the News of the World, part of Murdoch's British newspaper stable.

Murdoch, who is splitting his empire into two companies, separating his newspaper and publishing businesses from the more profitable film and TV interests, installed Mike Darcey, a former economist known for signing commercial deals and boosting subscription revenues, as Mockridge's replacement.

Harding himself was criticized by a public inquiry which was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron to examine press ethics following the public furore over phone-hacking.

He was forced to apologize to the inquiry, headed by senior judge Brian Leveson, in February after admitting that one of the paper's reporters had hacked the email of an anonymous police blogger in 2009 to expose his identity.

People familiar with the situation at News International have speculated that John Witherow, the editor of the Times's sister paper, the Sunday Times, might replace Harding.

In its statement, News International merely said the national independent directors of The Times would be consulted on a replacement.

Tags: News, World, Featured, TIMES EDITOR, STEPS DOWN, James Harding

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