Bloomberg and the Financial Times
by Chris Roush
Michael Wolff writes on USA Today about Bloomberg’s interest in The Financial Times.
Wolff writes, “As it happens, Bloomberg’s interest in the FT was sparked by his interest in the New York Times. Rupert Murdoch, a great purveyor of media gossip, ever-eager to cause trouble for his nemesis, the Times, started to spread the rumor in 2008 that Bloomberg might be after the paper. Bloomberg, thinking his second term as mayor would be his last, suddenly found his interest piqued by the rumor. After concluding that the voting-structure of the Times would make an acquisition improbable, Bloomberg asked the follow-up question: ‘What about the FT?’
“Four years of conscientious pursuit later, the FT appears to be available. The Times seems ever-more available, too — and on a fortuitous timetable. While the Times has sold enough assets to keep it afloat in the short term, its likely decline in advertising revenue will put it in inevitable peril again, probably right around the time Bloomberg leaves office.
“Michael Bloomberg is practically a central-casting savior for the Times. There may not be a man so rich, so middle-of-the-road, so of New York, so of the newspaper generation (wealthy enough to support a few more generations of quality newspapers) as him. He’s a plausible protector, perhaps the only plausible one.
“The FT, The New York Times, the Economist — and there is also a bit of talk about adding The Times in London, Murdoch’s money-losing prestige paper there — could become a new Anglo-New York, business-centric, ever-moderate, quasi public-interest entity underwritten by Bloomberg.
“There are certainly worse fates for each of these publications, and it’s doubtful that Bloomberg could build himself a greater monument or more fitting office to go to every day.”
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