So, let us get this straight. Rupert Murdoch owns a money-losing-but-high-profile New York tabloid and the Wall Street Journal, on which he just took a $3 billion writedown. Yet, Variety wants us to believe he’s not only looking at buying The New York Times, but the Los Angeles Times, too.
It’s exactly this kind of navel-gazing that gives baseless speculation a bad name. The thing to remember: Rupert is a rich guy and at some level Dow Jones makes sense and will again mint money. The Times, either one actually, are franchises that can’t begin to imagine that kind of turnaround is possible.
Plus, throw in the New York Post’s chimp cartoon controversy last week and maybe the cool liberal kids his wife wants him to hang out with aren’t so supportive in an anti-trust case.
And, while the Peter Chernin post mortems chatter about Rupert’s flights of fancy in the newspaper industry, don’t think the guy hasn’t noticed that his shares have lost more than the Dow and the S&P 500 over the past year.
At least the Hollywood rag tosses in a caveat:
“With News Corp. shares trading at $6.79 (up 6% Tuesday), the central question of whether Murdoch could actually pull off such a manoeuvre is thorny.”