Covering Thomson Reuters Corp for almost two years has taught me that people like to cast my company in a recurring role in media deal parlor games. Now that the company’s arch-rival Bloomberg LP will buy BusinessWeek magazine from McGraw-Hill, lots of my pals in the media world are wondering: Will Thomson Reuters buy a mainstream news or business news magazine? Or newspaper? Why not Forbes? Why not the Financial Times?
Keep in mind that Thomson Reuters likes to remind people when they ask these questions that Thomson Corp, before buying Reuters, got out of its Canadian newspaper empire for a reason. (See below)
I asked our chief executive, Tom Glocer, a question along these lines on a Thursday phone call he had with reporters to discuss the company’s third-quarter financial results.
Here is what he said:
Thomson did a remarkable job, far earlier than any other company I know, of seeing what was coming and transitioning their business out of print for the most part… I don’t see any particular time or reason at this juncture why we should go the other way.
Later on Thursday, when I interviewed Glocer, we returned to this theme. (I can’t help it, I’m a print guy.) I used the Financial Times, owned by Pearson Plc and beloved of its CEO, Dame Marjorie Scardino, as a sample target: