Report: Murdoch Entering Battle for Tribune Co.

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By: E&P Staff

News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch has joined the Chandler family’s bid for Tribune Co., according to a published report.

Murdoch is interested in a stake in the Tribune publication Newsday, one of the company’s largest publications, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. He would like to combine New York-based Newsday’s back office and operational functions with those at News Corp.’s New York Post, the Times reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the situation.

Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman declined to comment on the report when reached by The Associated Press Tuesday evening.

“We never comment on speculation,” Weitman said.

News Corp. declined to comment, the Financial Times reported.

The Chandler family, Tribune’s largest shareholder, has offered to buy Chicago-based Tribune and spin off its broadcast division to shareholders in a deal valued at $7.6 billion. Tribune also has received a joint proposal from Los Angeles billionaires Eli Broad and Ronald Burkle to sponsor a recapitalization of the company. A third offer reportedly was submitted for Tribune’s television stations only.

Tribune owns 11 papers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, along with 23 television stations and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

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