Rupert Murdoch Tweets: 'Sorry Can't Buy' Tribune

8:22 AM PST 07/18/2014 by Georg Szalai
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Tribune is set to spin off its newspaper arm, which includes the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune, in August.

Rupert Murdoch's entertainment company 21st Century Fox is widely expected to return with a sweetened bid for Time Warner, but he has tweeted that his newspaper firm News Corp won't look to acquire the publishing arm of Tribune, which the media company is in the process of spinning off.

"Sorry can't buy Trib group or L.A. Times — cross-ownership laws from another age still in place," the media mogul said. The comment was a reference to FCC rules that limit the ability of a person or company to own newspapers and TV stations in the same market.

Tribune's newspaper arm includes the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun. The spinoff was recently set for early August.

Meanwhile, Fox earlier this week confirmed an $80 billion bid for Time Warner, which was rejected.

Murdoch has been in Australia and spoke at the 50th anniversary of The Australian newspaper, which is part of News Corp. "Just had exciting week in Australia with great team digging company out of many holes," Murdoch tweeted.

On the Fox/Time Warner front, Guggenheim Securities analyst Michael Morris in a Friday report entitled "Frustration Misplaced" highlighted that Fox shares have underperformed the S&P 500 stock index by 6.1 percent since news of its bid for Time Warner.

"We share a common belief that a higher bid by Fox is likely, but expect the companies to reach pricing that is accretive for both companies, not 6 percent dilutive for Fox," he said.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com"
Twitter: @georgszalai

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