January 7, 2013

Buying the Trib?

From The Guardian.com - The media sale of the new year - and most likely of the decade - includes eight daily papers, some of them famous names, and 23 TV stations, plus a host of related internet and cable assets. You can probably pick up the broadcasting bits for $2.85bn, the websites for $2.26bn - or the papers alone for a mere $623m. Welcome back, after four long years in the holding cell of bankruptcy, to the Tribune Company of Chicago, now pursuing an almost-everything-must-go policy. Who's got several billions burning a hole in their pocket? Who'll lead the bidding?

And the interesting, inevitable name first out of the hat belongs, naturally, to Mr Rupert Murdoch.

Of course Warren Buffett may fancy a little bit of the action: he's buying little newspapers these days. Of course various West Coast entrepreneurs-cum=philanthropists may seek a slice of the Los Angeles Times. Of course giant venture capitalists will see chances for buying the lot and selling it off in small parcels. But News Corp -big on profits, still big on ambition and deployable funds - remains a prime contender. And suddenly there's wider significance.