News Corp. (NWS:US) Chairman Rupert Murdoch said he may join a bid for Tribune Co., the second-largest U.S. newspaper company.
Murdoch said he is interested in joining the Chandler family, Tribune's largest shareholder, in an offer that would give the group control of Tribune's 11 newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Newsday, based on Long Island, New York.
News Corp. (NWSA:US)'s interest would be limited to combining the printing and administrative functions of News Corp.'s New York Post with Newsday, Murdoch said on a conference call to discuss News Corp.'s earnings (NWS:US) today.
``It would lead to a joint operating of the New York Post and Newsday'' Murdoch said, adding that he's ``open to doing something'' with the Chandlers, who hold a 20 percent stake in Chicago-based Tribune through family trusts.
Murdoch said any investment would be ``small.''
Shares of Tribune, second in newspapers behind Gannett Co., were unchanged at $30.95 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares (TRB:US) have fallen 3.4 percent since Sept. 22 when the company said it would consider selling all or part of the company. Class A shares of New York-based News Corp., the world's third-largest media company, rose (NWS:US) 36 cents to $23.34. The stock has gained 48 percent in the past year.
Dan Katcher, a spokesman for the Chandler trusts, and Gary Weitman, a spokesman for Tribune, declined to comment.
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