BusinessWeek, where the action happens off-screen

McGraw-Hill set Tuesday as the due date for bids for the ailing BusinessWeek magazine, and at least as of 7:30 pm eastern time, nothing at all has happened. Since this is one of those stories where I’ve encountered absolutely no fruitful sources, I’ve relied on reading the reports of other people.

So what’s going to happen to the business news weekly? Let’s catch up with the latest:

It will not go to Lazard chief Bruce Wasserstein. The owner of New York magazine has enough to deal with in the slumping publishing world already, so he’s gone, reports BusinessWeek columnist Jon Fine.

Fine himself is bowing out of the action after presenting us with most of it. He and wife Laurel Touby (a media maven in her own right) are taking a six-month sabbatical to do more fun things in other parts of the world.

Bloomberg LP remains interested, along with various other bidders, say various media reports. As you might expect, no one there is talking to us evil arch-rivals at Reuters. I hear from Bloomberg journalists that no one there is talking to them either. Too bad, because it was Bloomberg journalist Greg Bensinger who helped break the story. (And so much the worse, as Bensinger is on honeymoon at the moment.)

If Wasserstein could turn back Time (Warner)…

Bruce Wasserstein, chief executive of private equity firm Lazard, joined Blackstone co-founder Steve Schwarzman at a breakfast sponsored by Fortune magazine this morning to share their collective wisdom regarding the financial crisis. (For more on the breakfast, see our DealZone blog).

At the end of the Q&A session, he got one of those out-of-the-blue questions from editor and moderator Andy Serwer: If he could do it all over again, would he still have hooked up with Carl Icahn on the activist investor’s quest to shake up Time Warner Inc?

It sounded like he would. He told guests at the breakfast that he was proud of the report that he and Icahn prepared about the state of the media conglomerate, which contained a bunch of recommendations for how it could improve — including mounting a bigger push into the digital age.