As the Tribune Co. emerges from a long and messy bankruptcy, there is growing speculation about its newspapers changing hands. The latest gossip had media giant Rupert Murdoch interested in the Los Angeles Times.
Reports said James Murdoch had been combing through the financials of the L.A. Times. However, that was summarily denied as “wholly inaccurate” by News Corp. representatives over the weekend. The FCC currently prohibits ownership of a television station and a newspaper in the same area, but is reconsidering this sanction - good news for Murdoch, who owns two Fox stations in L.A. and two in Chicago.
As Murdoch prepares to divide News Corp. to focus separately on entertainment media and print news, word is spreading quickly about his intentions to purchase the two financially-struggling papers. Murdoch already controls the Wall Street Journal, one of the most widely read publications in the country. He is not the only buyer on the market. Eli Broad and San Diego’s Doug Manchester are also on the list.
What do Angelenos want for the future of their paper? How would a Murdoch purchase impact media nationwide? Who else is best positioned to buy the paper? How should media concentration figure in a deal?
Tim Rutten, former longtime writer and media critic for the Los Angeles Times
Craig Turner, former longtime reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times