Murdoch's News Corp. poised to purchase

Nov. 19, 2012 at 4:40 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Industry analysts said Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp., is on the prowl for new acquisitions.

Murdoch held back on making new purchases in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal in Britain that forced the closure of News of the World in 2011 after 168 years of publication.

Murdoch may be considering buying the Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune from Tribune Co., which is aiming to climb out of bankruptcy, The New York Times reported Monday.

In addition, News Corp. is about to cement a $3 billion deal with Yankee Global Enterprises to buy 49 percent of Yes Network, the New York area sports network.

"Rupert has his mojo back," media analyst Todd Juenger at Sanford C. Bernstein told the Times.

As the phone hacking scandal recedes from the limelight, News Corp.'s value is rising.

"Investors are happy with the company's recent decisions," Juenger said.

Murdoch, "is definitely rubbing his hands together," a source close to the deals at News Corp. told the Times.

In Murdoch's favor, Britain's Office of Communications in September gave a green light to British Sky Broadcasting for a broadcast license. The company is 39 percent owned by News Corp.

Concurrently, however, News Corp. has dropped a $12 billion bid to buy the portion of British Sky Broadcasting that it does not own, meaning there are resources available for News Corp. to make a bid on something else.

At the same time, News Corp. is expected to lump some of its under-performing publications, including The Wall Street Journal, into a new publicly traded company, the Times reported.

After the phone hacking controversy, the scandal spotlight has now swung over to the British Broadcasting Corp., which was accused of burying a story about program host Jimmy Savile, who has been accused of child molestation and with falsely accusing a member of Margaret Thatcher's administration with pedophilia.

"After Savile scandal, now prominent news program falsely names senior pol as pedophile," Murdoch wrote on Twitter on Nov. 10.

That scandal also affects The New York Times as CEO Mark Thompson was the director general at the BBC, his time there overlapping with the Jimmy Savile scandal.

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