Report: Rupert Murdoch Interested in the LA Times*

A day after KPBS relayed Doug Manchester’s possible interest in acquiring the LA Times, there is news of a much bigger media mogul sniffing around this city’s prized daily newspaper. According to LA Times reporter Meg James, her new boss could potentially turn out to be none other than Rupert Murdoch:

News Corp. executives have had preliminary talks with debt holders about acquiring the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, according to two ranking News Corp. executives and others familiar with the situation.

These people cautioned that talks are in the early stages, and that a deal is by no means certain… On trips to Los Angeles, Murdoch is known to mark up the newspaper with a Sharpie pen to illustrate how he would design pages.

James notes that should Murdoch and-or Manchester proceed with these early indications of interest in pieces of the de-bankrupted Tribune Co. empire, they will have to jostle with an undetermined number of competing bidders. Orange County Register new owner Aaron Kushner for example told the reporter today that Freedom Communications also has a real interest in the Times.

Read her complete article here. Already in the article comments, many are promising they will cancel their LAT subscriptions if Murdoch takes ownership.

Update – 10/20/12: Reuters reporter Ronald Grover reports that News Corp. executives, including James Murdoch, have flown into LA twice in the past month to take a look at the LA Times books.

*Update – 10/20/12: Another report by Grover today has News Corp. stating that the article by James and others are “wholly inaccurate.” LAT spokesperson Nancy Sullivan says the paper is standing by its story.

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@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: October 19, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT