News Corp. baron Rupert Murdoch has zero interest in buying the Boston Globe, and he "flat out" told reporters so on the red carpet at Sunday night's Academy Awards.
"The company has no interest in acquiring the Globe," a News Corp. source also told the Boston Herald
, further quashing the speculation.
Rumors began swirling last week that the media mogul was interested in buying the Globe from the New York Times Co. A report in the News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal said the Times was interested in drawing a bid from Murdoch, if only to drive up competing offers.
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If Murdoch went after the Globe, it could present a tangled bureaucratic problem because of the Federal Communications Commission's ban on cross-ownership, according to the Herald. The ban prohibits the same person or company from controlling both a television station and a newspaper in the same market. Murdoch's joint interests would violate that rule, even if he takes measures to divide his print and broadcast entities.
"The rule still stands, even though the FCC is trying to get rid of it," newspaper analyst John Morton told the Herald. "It doesn't matter if it's owned separately, if it’s all under the same person’s control."
The New York Times Co.'s decision to sell its New England Media Group, which includes the Globe, is part of its strategy to embrace the new digital media landscape and shed traditional newspapers in favor of more mobile, social media, video, and other technology-centered opportunities.
"The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette are outstanding newspapers and they and their related digital properties are well-managed leaders in their markets with real opportunities for future development," Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson said in a statement. "But given the differences between these businesses and The New York Times, we believe that a sale is in the best long-term interests of these properties and the employees who work for them as well as in the best interests of our shareholders."
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