Southern California breaking news and trends

Reports that Murdoch-led News Corp is in talks to buy LA Times are 'wholly inaccurate'

Tony Pierce / KPCC

The entryway to the Globe entrance of the Los Angeles Times on First Street in downtown L.A.

After a week of speculation and reports from three major news outlets whose anonymous sources said Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation are in talks with the Los Angeles Times to buy the paper, comes a message from the Australian news giant: it's not true, mate.

"Reports that News Corporation is in discussions with Tribune or the LA Times are wholly inaccurate" a News Corp spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter on Saturday.

The denial comes after articles in both the L.A. Times and the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal this week reported that the world's largest newspaper company was interested in both the Times and the Chicago Tribune.

"Tribune Co.'s debt holders — two investment firms and a bank — will become majority owners of the company after it exits bankruptcy, which could happen by year's end. News Corp. executives have had preliminary talks with these debt holders about acquiring the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, according to two ranking News Corp. executives and others familiar with the situation," the Times reported late Friday.

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Another brick in the 'membership program': L.A. Times readers cry 'paywall'

Kevork Djansezian/AP

The Los Angeles Times building.

The L.A. Times is charging ahead with a fee-based model for its online content beginning March 5. 

A trend in reaction shows readers seemingly dissatisfied with the terminology of calling the pricing structure a "membership program" instead of the straightforward use of the word "paywall."

The newspaper attempts to explain the label distinction by saying, "although digital payment plans are commonly known as 'paywalls,' The Times is billing its plan as a 'membership program' that will include retail discounts, deals and giveaways, as well as access to digital news."

Are you planning to pay for Times "membership?"

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Los Angeles Times to introduce an online paywall

la times building

Photo by Calvin Fleming via Flickr Creative Commons

Hello paywall, goodbye unlimited free Web news. The L.A. Times will be charging people who don't subscribe to its daily print edition for unlimited online content starting March 5, it was announced on Friday. The cost of the L.A. Times "membership program" will vary based on whether a reader subscribes to the Sunday edition, or chooses digital-only access. Up to 15 articles about every month will be free for anyone. More information and community reaction to follow.

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