Ever since The Washington Post Co. as much as offered Newsweek up for sale last week, the media’s been abuzz with speculation over who will want to buy the magazine, or if anyone will want to buy it at all.
But there’s one media mogul whose name you can cross off your short list: Rupert Murdoch.
A News Corp. spokesperson tells Yahoo! News’ Michael Calderone that Murdoch has “no plans to bid” on the magazine, which lost $28 million in 2009, and whose ad revenue was down 38% in the first quarter of 2010.
It’s not too surprising that Murdoch isn’t kicking the tires this time around, given that now he’s dumping millions into the Journal, and last year unloaded a weekly magazine, The Weekly Standard, to fellow billionaire publisher Philip Anschutz. A source close to Anschutz tells Yahoo! News that the sports, entertainment, and media mogul isn’t planning to bid on the beleaguered newsweekly, either.
So who is?
Mexican billionaire NYT investor Carlos Slim quickly squashed rumours that he was interested.
And we’re still waiting for the names of the “two billionaires” who left Newsweek editor in chief Jon Newsweek voicemails last week.
But Calderone offers some insight into the types of individuals they might be:
A future buyer may not emerge from the existing media world but end up being someone with deep pockets and a desire for the influence that comes along with a news brand known worldwide. (Pravda, for instance, suggested that a Russian oligarch look into buying the magazine). Given that the magazine lost more than $28 million last year and shows few signs of turning a profit anytime soon, the most likely scenario may be a billionaire in search of a vanity project to push a few political ideas. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that scenario unfolded in the publishing world.
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