By: Owen Mathews | The Daily Beast
Could a former KGB spy save Britain’s oldest tabloid, the disgraced and now defunct News of the World? Alexander Lebedev, a 51-year-old former Soviet agent who spied on the U.K. in the 1980s and made a banking fortune in the 1990s, yesterday mulled adding the paper to his stable of U.K. press titles. “Let me just make a funny suggestion: so I decide tomorrow to relaunch News of the World, but calling it World News,” Lebedev told Bloomberg. “I will be focusing not on … phone hacking but would need the journalists to really investigate, and during investigations you have to observe the laws.”
Lebedev, whose fortune has been valued at $2.1 billion and includes a bank, real estate, and stakes in Aeroflot, already owns the London Evening Standard and The Independent. He also owns, jointly with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia’s Novaya Gazeta, one of the few outspokenly anti-Kremlin newspapers still allowed to circulate.