Broward News

Rupert Murdoch Could Be Eying Sun Sentinel Parent Company

The troubled Tribune Company - the newspaper conglomerate that includes the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and local Sun Sentinel as well as other dailies across the US -- is reportedly being eyed by the biggest, baddest, paper baron left in world publishing: Rupert Murdoch.

Yesterday afternoon, journalism insider site Poynter reported that News Corp is hungrily looking at Tribune properties, and a sale could go down as the latter company reshuffles its corporate DNA.

How does a sale stack up for South Florida's daily? Judging from what happened last year -- when a number of well-sourced reports announced the conservative glitter twins Charles and David Koch were interested in buying the chain -- it could mean a lot of hyperventilating liberal readers.

In 2012, the Tribune Company emerged from a messy bankruptcy that threatened the life of not only the companies newspapers -- which besides the Times, Tribune, and Sun-Sentinel, include The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, and the Daily Press -- but its vast holdings of TV stations as well. Last July, as a solution, the Tribune announced it would spin off it's main print daddies out into a separate public company, Tribune Publishing, valued at $623 million according to Poynter.

Cue Murdoch sharpening his vampire teeth. News Corp's own newspaper department -- which includes the Wall Street Journal -- has also broken off from the mama company. The reshuffle, according to Poynter, has left it with $3 billion to burn on acquisitions, and the laser sights are honing in on an old Murdoch target: the LA Times.

Industry folks say Murdoch has long desired the SoCal daily, as well as the Tribune. He could gobble up the whole package, Poynter says, then parcel off the smaller papers -- likely including the Sun Sentinel.

How would South Floridians respond to a Murdoch owned Sun Sentinel? Last year, protesters were strung out along the daily's Fort Lauderdale HQ when rumors circulated that the Kochs were interested in picking up the Tribune papers. Murdoch's own political bent has seeped into just about every publication he owns. The agenda would likely seep into the Tribune papers as well, including here.

But this isn't likely another round of pipe dream speculation. If anything, the Murdoch situation seems a much more likely scenario now than the Kochs ever did.

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Kyle Swenson
Contact: Kyle Swenson