NewsCorp Mulls Tribune Bid

24 January 2007

NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire is reported to have teamed with the Chandler family to enter the bidding for US newspaper publisher the Tribune Company.

Murdoch's interest in the publisher is said to focus on its Newsday title, based in Long Island, near New York. He would consider combining its back-office functions with those of his money-losing New York Post title as a way to cut costs.

Murdoch's foray could inject a much needed spark into the sale of Tribune, whose stable includes the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

The hitherto lackluster auction has attracted bids from the Chandler clan, which has the biggest shareholding in the company, LA billionaires Eli Broad and Ronald Burkle and private equity firm Carlyle Group.

Also waiting in the wings is said to be Hollywood entertainment mogul David Geffen, who has expressed an interest in the LA Times.

The sale was set in motion by the board last fall, following pressure from the Chandlers, amid a slump in newspaper shares as readers and advertisers migrate online.

NewsCorp declined to comment.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff