BY BUDDY NEVINS
Is media tycoon Rupert Murdoch considering buying the Sun-Sentinel?
Bloomberg today reported that the bankrupt Tribune Company, owner of the local newspaper and website, was interviewing bankers to sell its newspapers. They include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Sun-Sentinel and others.
Bloomberg also says that Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, plans to “take a close look” at the newspaper properties.
He is spinning off his print publications into a separate company next year. He is said to be looking for ways to expand the print business.
Murdoch is the owner of Fox News and billions of dollars in properties around the world. He is highly controversial…to say the least.
His editorials pages and Fox News reflect his conservative positions, making him a bete noire of Democrats.
Some of his papers are wildly sensational. The best example of this in the United States is the New York Post.
His papers are also embroiled in a phone tapping scandal in Britain.
So what would a Murdoch take over do to local, Broward coverage?
As I’ve told my former colleagues at the Sun-Sentinel, a purchase by Murdoch could be the best thing that happened to that newspaper in recent years.
Murdock still has ink running through his veins and loves the business. He invests money to expand newspapers, which is exactly what he did with the Wall Street Journal.
Readers may be shocked by the choices of what a Murdoch-owned Sun-Sentinel covers. At least the paper would be around to cover something.
The Tribune will sell the Sun-Sentinel. So the alternative to Murdoch may be a gravedigger (Oh, didn’t they already have that. Isn’t “The Grave Dancer” the nickname of Sam Zell. As the guy who ran The Tribune Company into the ground, he lived up to that name.).
A gravedigger would buy the Sun-Sentinel for its assets. They would continue to cut back on staff and coverage and eventually fold the newspaper. What would be left is a bare bones Internet edition with almost no in-depth coverage because there would be nobody left to cover anything.
One retired Sun-Sentinel staffer e-mailed that he believes my scenario is wrong. He thinks the Seminole Tribe will eventually purchase the Sun-Sentinel, which is a very interesting possibility.
However, if Murdoch bought the Sun-Sentinel, maybe coverage would be stepped up.
Imagine seeing places like West Broward, North Broward and a dozen little communities covered again?
Well, maybe not…unless Kim Kardashian shows up in Tamarac.
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