Rupert Murdoch wants to add two new gems to his soon-to-be-formed publishing company after News Corp. splits into two pieces, and his wandering eyes are focusing on the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune.
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The L.A. Times' Meg James reports Murdoch has had preliminary talks with Tribune Co.'s owners about purchasing the two papers. Tribune Co. will emerge from bankruptcy soon and the two banks and investment firm that will become majority owners of the company want to unload the struggling papers.
Murdoch, the world's biggest newsprint romantic, is especially infatuated with the Times. "On trips to Los Angeles, he is known to mark up [the Times] with a Sharpie pen to illustrate how he would design pages," James writes. He also has a long standing mutual relationship with the Tribune. They print his Wall Street Journal in California and in Chicago.
It's not the first time this week we've heard about Murdoch's interest in the Times. The Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that he was expected to pursue, "acquisitions of distressed newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times," after the News Corp. split. There were also rumors of his interest in the Times in June. Daily Intel's Joe Coscarelli called the Tuesday report the "media mogul equivalent of flirting," which we're not disagreeing with. If anything, the Times report on Murdoch's interest is the media equivalent of them flirting back. They're giving him the eyes, as it were. The Times report cites two other potential buyers, but it's Murdoch's name in the headline.