Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is looking to bid for the Los Angeles Times, the paper has reported, adding Murdoch is also interested in buying its stablemate the Chicago Tribune from their parent company, the Tribune Company.
The Times said senior News sources confirmed executives had approached the two investment firms and a bank that hold Tribune's debt – the lenders will become its majority owners once it emerges from bankruptcy protection, possibly within months according to the LA Times.
The paper said a deal might require a waiver of federal laws that block ownership of newspapers and TV stations in the same market. Murdoch's Fox network has stations in Los Angeles in Chicago.
Tribune also has interests in television stations, some of which carry programming from News Corp's TV channels or operate as Fox affiliates.
A bid for the LA Times alone could be worth as much as US$400m, the paper said.
As reported earlier this month, Bloomberg is in the market for the Financial Times and the New York Times.
We soon could see two men and the companies they run own the following media outlets:
BLOOMBERG: Bloomberg News, Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Radio, Bloomberg Views, Bloomberg Businessweek, and either the Financial Times or the New York Times or possibly both.
MURDOCH: FOX News, FOX Business, FOX Sports, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Times of London, The Sun, a large part of BSkyB, the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Two oligarchs owning a large swath of the nation's media (and in Murdoch's case, still owning a pretty large swath of Britain's media too.)
Given that other than the Financial Times, most of these newspapers are losing propositions these days, and given that the economics of the newspaper business do not look like they will ever recover to pre-Internet times, you can bet Bloomberg and Murdoch are in the business of buying up these papers for political reasons, not economic reasons.
Bloomberg has already stated he intends to use a slush fund from his personal fortune to sway political elections by bribing politicians who agree with his "bi-partisan" stances on gun control, education reform, and economic policy.
In truth, Bloomberg's stances on most policies differ little from Murdoch's (or the Kochs' or any of the other oligarchs trying to influence politics with their ill-gotten gains these days) - they're all based on the premise that what is good for corporations and Wall Street is what is good for America.
Add Bill Gates and his "philanthropic efforts" on education policy, food policy, and disease control to the mix and you can see how we have a small handful of very rich, very ruthless and, at least in the case of Murdoch (though I would argue in the case of the Kochs', Bloomberg and Gates too) very unethical men using an incredible amount of money to get the kinds of polices they want.
It surely doesn't help when the major media outlets are owned by some of the same men trying to influence policy with their money.
How do you fight the influence these criminals have over policy and the direction of the country when they can not only buy the politicians who will pass the laws and rules they want but also own the media outlets that cover the politics of it all?
Welcome to neo-feudal 2st Century America, where it's all rigged.