A few weeks ago, we asked: Are Murdoch’s WSJ changes creating an opening for NYT, FT?
By coincidence, Newsweek ran a similar article a day or so later, titled Murdoch, Ink (it looks like it was in the works for a while, so I am not accusing anyone of plagiarism or even inspiration). It raised many of the same issues of the de-financialization of the WSJ’s coverage.
The most interesting aspect of that Newsweek piece was the floated possibility of a realistic buyer for the NYT: Michael Bloomberg:
"But the loudest chatter is about Bloomberg, whose fortune—based on his stake in financial-information giant Bloomberg LP—Forbes magazine pegs at $11.6 billion. In a farewell column in January marking his retirement, Journal managing editor Paul Steiger touted the possibility of a friendly Bloomberg-Times merger. In NEWSWEEK interviews last week, a member of Bloomberg’s inner circle confirmed that the mayor’s confidants and closest associates are, in fact, encouraging him to explore the idea. The Bloomberg source wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the matter and, as a result, insisted on anonymity. Through a spokesman, Bloomberg declined to comment. According to the source, the proponents of the merger are appealing to the mayor’s sense of "civic-mindedness," arguing that he is best suited to take the publishing company private to "help protect the brand" in the wake of relentless shareholder assaults. "It is clearly a brand that Bloomberg could help preserve and that he cares about immensely … and could pay a competitive price" for, says this person.
Murdoch, for one, sees a natural fit between Bloomberg and the Journal’s uptown rival. Bloomberg, he notes, has pledged to remain a force in national public life after leaving New York’s city hall at the end of next year. To that end, owning the Times would help immensely, Murdoch reasons. Yet the prospect of competing against a Bloomberg-owned Times appears to rattle him. "I wouldn’t look forward to going up against him," Murdoch told NEWSWEEK, citing his "great respect for Bloomberg’s business abilities."
Rather fascinating. That would make a hell of a combination . . .
Murdoch’s WSJ Changes Creates Opening for NYT, FT Apr 24, 2008 http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/04/murdochs-wsj-cr.html
Johnnie L. Roberts
NEWSWEEK, Apr 28, 2008 Issue
What’s an Investor to Do if a Star Firm Stumbles?
NYT, May 4, 2008