News Corp denied rumors on Saturday that it is in talks with Tribune Co or The Los Angeles Times, saying that rumors of the discussions are “wholly inaccurate.”
TheLos Angeles Times newspaper published a report on Friday that stated that News Corp Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch was looking to buy both the Times, as well as The Chicago Tribune, once owner Tribune Co emerges from bankruptcy, reports The Chicago Tribune.
The paper added that New Corp executives were in the early stages of talks with Oaktree Capital, who owns Tribune Co’s debt, which would give them footholds in the top three US markets of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago
News Corp denied the report, and also declined to comment on whether there have been any talks with debt holders, or if they will ask the Los Angeles Times for a retraction on the story.
While The Chicago Tribune and Oaktree declined to comment, a spokeswoman for The Los Angeles Times, Nancy Sullivan, stated that the paper stands by their report. Bloomberg BusinessWeek notes that Julie Henderson, a spokeswoman for News Corp, stated:
“Reports that News Corp is in discussions with Tribune of the L.A. Times are wholly inaccurate.”
CEO Rupert Murdoch has previously expressed interest in The Los Angeles Times and may go searching for troubled newspapers next year, once News Corp splits into two companies, one of which will handle groups like 20th Century Fox, while the other will handle media outlets.
The Federal Communications Commission currently prevents ownership of a newspaper and a TV station in the same market, but once the split occurs, this would no longer be an issue for the company who owns two Fox stations in Los Angeles and two in Chicago.