MediaFile

UPDATED-Might Bloomberg buy the New York Times?

April 21, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI speaks to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Ground Zero in New York,UPDATE – Bloomberg told a press conference on Monday that he is not entering the newspaper business, saying:

“I am not a newspaper person.

Could New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg someday become New York Times Publisher Michael Bloomberg? (pictured on left, with Pope Benedict)

While it’s not a new idea, most media outlets — present company included — are all abuzz over the idea, and it has been reported that aides are whispering to Bloomberg he should merge Bloomberg LP, the financial news organization he created, with the Times.

The new smolderings come as the paper’s parent company feels pressure from dissident shareholders to spark advertising sales and dump assets to bolster its share price.

The press excitement is partly fed by the wrestlemania-ish notion of a Bloomberg-run media empire tackling Rupert Murdoch’s media kingdom. Murdoch himself has made no secret about giving the Times a run for its audience with the beefed up political news now appearing in his Wall Street Journal.

The idea of Bloomberg-as-rescuer has been bandied about before, the Washington Post points out, by the likes of Jim Cramer, Michael Wolff, and others.

But with the clock ticking on Bloomberg’s political career — his mayoral stint ends next year, although he could still seek higher office — the New York Daily News notes that it remains unclear where he will “devote his managerial prowess and $11.5 billion fortune.”

For the record, the Times tells us the company’s controlling Ochs-Sulzberger clan still believes in its current capital structure as the best way to keep the paper independent and full of editorial integrity.

(New York Post)

(Reuters)

Keep an eye on:

  • USA Today publisher Gannett posted a drop in quarterly profit because of falling print advertising sales. (Reuters)
  • Sumner Redstone’s Viacom will launch a premium TV and movie channel with Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, aiming a direct volley at Time Warner’s HBO as well as Redstone’s own Showtime networks owned by CBS. (Reuters)
  • Deepak Nayar, behind such films as “Buena Vista Social Club” and “Bend it Like Beckham,” and Sandy Grushow, the former chairman of Fox Television Entertainment, are launching Filmaka (http://www.filmaka.com), a new kind of studio that uses the Web to cultivate the next great talents. (Reuters)
  • MySpace promotes Jeff Berman to the new post of president of sales and marketing. His role as Fox Interactive Media’s social net’s ad sales came as part of a reorganization that decentralizes advertising. (PaidContent)

(Photo: Reuters)

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