Six non-executive directors of Hollinger International - dubbed unflatteringly by some as 'Conrad's cronies' - have bowed to shareholder pressure [WAMN: 14-Nov-05] and will step down from the company's board at its annual meeting in January.

There are familiar names among the imminent retirees, not least former US secretary of state Henry A Kissinger and Richard N Perle, a one-time presidential eminence gris.

Other outgoing worthies of lesser rank are the quondam US ambassador to Germany Richard R Burt and former Illinois governor James R Thompson. Also departing are ex-Telegraph Group executive Daniel W Colson and Shmuel Meitar.

The queue for the emergency exit coincides with last week's indictment on eight fraud counts of former Hollinger chairman/ceo Lord Conrad Black.

News of the indictment will not have gladdened the hearts of Thompson and Burt, both of whom served on Hollinger's audit committee, the object of strong criticism (in a 2004 company report) for its benevolent oversight of His Lordship's financial dealings.

Not all the outgoing half-dozen will be replaced, Hollinger having announced its intention to shrink boardroom numbers from the present level of eleven. This reflects the newspaper publishing group's own diminished stature following last year's fire sale of the UK-based Telegraph Group.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff