Rupert Murdoch, other potential buyers eye L.A. Times

News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch is said to be in early talks to buy the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune from Tribune Co.

Los Angeles Times, By Meg James, October 19

With Tribune Co. expected to emerge from bankruptcy soon, News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch is looking to acquire two of its trophy properties — the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Tribune Co.’s debt holders — two investment firms and a bank — will become majority owners of the company after it exits bankruptcy, which could happen by year’s end. News Corp. executives have had preliminary talks with these debt holders about acquiring the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, according to two ranking News Corp. executives and others familiar with the situation.

These people cautioned that talks are in the early stages, and that a deal is by no means certain. Other potential buyers have expressed interest.

Murdoch heads the world’s largest news company, which includes the Wall Street Journal and the Times of London.

Also, Huffington Post: Why Is the Obama FCC Plotting a Massive Giveaway to Rupert Murdoch?

Word is that Murdoch now covets the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune — the bankrupt-but-still-dominant newspapers (and websites) in the second- and third-largest media markets, where Murdoch already own TV stations.

Under current media ownership limits, he can’t buy them. It’s illegal… unless the Federal Communications Commission changes the rules.

But according to numerous reports, that’s exactly what FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski plans to do. He’s circulating an order at the FCC to lift the longstanding ban on one company owning both daily newspapers and TV stations in any of the 20 largest media markets.

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