Murdoch's Australian arm ponders rebrand: report

21st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Global media baron Rupert Murdoch's Australian operations are considering a name change following the phone hacking scandal in Britain, according to a leaked internal document.

News Limited said Wednesday the document was a "work in progress" and parts of it had already been superseded or ruled out, while no final decisions had been taken over many of the options mentioned.

The 41-page document, which comes after the phone hacking scandal in Britain and the announcement of an inquiry into the newspaper industry in Australia, suggests the company could be rebranded "News Australia".

Leaked to the online newsletter Crikey, it is thought to have been sent to three advertising agencies, asking them for their pitches to help enhance News Limited's public image.

It notes that while News Limited is a global company with "intelligence and insights", some negative perceptions persist, such as that it is "arrogant and difficult to deal with", Crikey said.

The actions of some of its workers also clashed with the firm's "espoused values", the document reportedly says.

News Limited said while the leaked document was less than a week old, dated 15 September, "some parts of it have already been superseded or ruled out of any future consideration".

"Our industry is going through a period of major change. We are naturally considering many things as we position News Limited for future growth," chief operating officer Peter Macourt said in a memo to staff.

"But, we haven't made final decisions about many of the activities described in the leaked document. The document is incomplete and contains commentary that is speculative.

"Research referred to in various parts of the document has not yet been completed."

Murdoch's global company News Corporation has its roots in Australia where News Limited publishes more than 100 metropolitan, regional and suburban titles, including the national daily The Australian.

News Limited also has interests in online services, pay-television, film and television production and magazine publishing.

© 2011 AFP

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