Tribune Denies It's In Talks To Sell After Rupert Murdoch Rumor

The co-chairman of News Corp. said he had “strong word” the company was being sold to a group of Wall Street investors.
The Tribune Tower in Chicago, Illinois
The Tribune Tower in Chicago, Illinois

Maybe Rupert Murdoch should leave the journalism to his employees.

Over the weekend, the co-chairman of News Corp. said on Twitter he had “strong word” that Tribune Publishing Co.'s newspaper group, which owns the Los Angeles Times, would be sold off to a group of Wall Street investors. The LA Times, Murdoch continued, would go to philanthropist Eli Broad.

On Monday, Tribune sent an email to employees denying it was in talks to sell the company but did not address the claim that it planned to sell off the LA Times.

“As our Board of Directors noted earlier this fall and as we articulated in our November earnings call, Tribune Publishing remains committed to its strategy and transformation plan and is not engaged in discussions or a process to sell the Company,” the email said.

The note to employees, which the company also filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, breaks from Tribune’s policy of not commenting on rumors about its business dealings. But given the high-profile source of the rumor, Tribune said it felt compelled to respond.

“While our policy is not to comment on rumors, given the source of this speculation and the fact that it has received considerable public attention, the Company believes a statement to employees is warranted,” the company said.

Tribune Publishing did not reply to a request for comment over the weekend. 

Gabriel Arana is senior media editor at The Huffington Post.