Analyst: Spinoff key to Murdoch newspapers

Oct. 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM
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CHICAGO, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- A media analyst said reports Rupert Murdoch was seeking to buy two major U.S. dailies surfaced as News Corp. was reorganizing its newspaper holdings.

The Los Angeles Times reported News Corp. was in talks to acquire the newspaper and the Chicago Tribune from Tribune Co., when it emerges from bankruptcy.

Although the report was denied by News Corp., the idea of Murdoch snagging two of the largest papers in the United States comes at an interesting time, said news industry analyst Ken Doctor.

Doctor told the Chicago Sun-Times that News Corp. was in the process of separating its newspapers from its robust television and entertainment division. The result would be Murdoch having more control over the papers without input from entertainment executives.

"The unintended consequence, which I think is fascinating in terms of Murdoch, is once the newspaper company is separate and he still controls it he is in a sense more free to pursue newspapers as sport," Doctor said. "This allows him to buy or bid on properties like the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune."

Doctor predicted the Tribune Co. would go on the block in the near future, possibly before the News Corp. spinoff is completed.

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