The son of Rupert Murdoch dramatically stepped down as chairman of News International in February, relenting to sustained pressure from shareholders of its parent company, News Corporation. However, filings with Companies House reveal that he has also quietly resigned as a director of Times Newspapers Holdings, an influential board established to ensure the editorial independence of The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers. In addition, he has surrendered his directorships of News Corporation Investments and News International Publications Limited - two subsidiaries of NI Group Limited. The move is expected to pave the way for a sale of News Corporation's British newspapers, which also include the Sun and the Sun on Sunday, as it battles to prevent the contagion spreading to its US interests as well. America's Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice are already investigating News Corporation for potential breaches of the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act. The Murdoch empire is braced for intense public scrutiny in the US next week, as a documentary about the phone hacking due to air on PBS brings the scandal to a wider American audience. Chase Carey, chief operating officer of News Corp, earlier this month admitted he had held talks with executives about selling or spinning the papers off following the hacking row. He told US investors that "there certainly is an awareness" that it would be worth more without them.