The Church of England, the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion, sold all its shares in News Corporation, which was recently wracked by a phone hacking scandal, over ethical concerns.
In total, the church sold about $3 million worth of shares of the media giant headed by Rupert Murdoch, a church spokesman said Tuesday. The church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) was not satisfied with the company's reform in governance after a year of discussion between church representatives and News Corp.
"The EIAG put forward a number of recommendations around how corporate governance structures at News Corporation could be improved," said Andrew Brown, secretary of the Church Commissioners, in a statement Tuesday. "However the EIAG does not feel that the company has brought about sufficient change and we have accepted its advice to disinvest."
Last year, News Corp was thrown into havoc when it was confirmed that its U.K.-based News of the World newspaper had hacked phones to obtain information, including those of politicians, the royal family, and private citizens. Investigations into the shocking scandal led to dozens of arrests, including those in senior positions at the newspaper.
The media conglomerate, which is the third largest in the world, announced in June that it will split up into two publicly traded companies. Murdoch announced that in response to concerns by shareholders after the phone hacking scandal, News Corp would split into a publicly traded company that included newspapers and publishing bodies and another that consisted of media and television. Murdoch will be chairman of both companies, but only plans to be the CEO of the media and television company.
News Corp's U.S. holdings include Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Twentieth Century Fox.