But will Bloomberg buy it? But is it for sale? But will he buy it?

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The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

The most recent serve in the months-long ping-pong story of whether Bloomberg LP might buy The Financial Times came today from the Bloomberg side.

First a bit of background: In a lengthy piece back in June about Michael Bloomberg's post-mayoral plans and where they might intersect with his self-named financial news and data behemoth, New York's Gabe Sherman reported that "sources say he may just buy the Financial Times ... which would be cheaper and a tighter editorial fit with his existing businesses."

But of course, just because someone is thinking of buying something doesn't mean they can. It has to be for sale.

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And, it may be, given that Pearson, which owns The Financial Times along with a one-half non controlling stake in The Economist, is having a leadership change right now that will remove two key players who were advocates of the print-journalism business, as was reported in a story on, yes, Bloomberg News.

Pearson executives, however, have denied that there are any plans to sell.

But fresh insight into Bloomberg's desire to buy came today with Amy Chozick and Michael Barbaro's report, sourced to "three people close to Mr. Bloomberg," that the mayor is "weighing the wisdom of buying The Financial Times Group, which includes the paper and a half interest in The Economist."

From their report in today's New York Times:

Mr. Bloomberg has long adored The Economist, and his affinity for The Financial Times, at least as a reader, has deepened lately. Its bisque-colored pages, once rarely seen in the thick stack of newspapers Mr. Bloomberg carries under his arm all day, have become a mainstay. Friends say he favors its generally short, punchy and to-the-point articles, which match his temperament.

In October, Mr. Bloomberg visited the London headquarters of The Financial Times, a few blocks away from Bloomberg L.P.’s giant new London complex, which is still under construction. When an editor asked if he would buy the paper, Mr. Bloomberg replied, “I buy it every day.”

He has spoken openly with friends and aides about the potential benefits and pitfalls of making such a costly acquisition in an industry he admires deeply as a reader but sneers at as a businessman, these same people said. And he has recently taken to rattling off circulation figures and “penetration” rates for the paper.

“It’s the only paper I’d buy,” he has said to one associate. “Why should I buy it?” he has asked another.

When Sherman asked Bloomberg News editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler last spring whether The Financial Times would be a boon to Bloomberg's media empire, Winkler replied: "If there were somehow a possibility on the margin, of course it could only help."

But Bloomberg L.P. president and C.E.O. Doctoroff said at the time: “There’s no need for us to buy a newspaper. And I think if you look at how we’re succeeding and the measure that we care about more than anything else—which is gaining influence—we’re on our way to get where we want.”

The other outlet rumored to be eyeing the newspaper is Bloomberg L.P.'s main rival, Thomson Reuters.

Next question: Is The Financial Times for sale? Expect a few more volleys before either side actually admits they're considering what we think they may be considering. That's just how it works.

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According to the latest gossip, Jeff Zucker is considering moving Erin Burnett to CNN's morning lineup. [New York Post]

A brief history of John McAfee's latest dalliances with the media. [The New York Times]

More on the mayoral candidates who blasted the New York Post over the weekend for its cartoon mocking Bill de Blasio and his wife. [NYO/Politicker]

A handy guide to the Columbia Journalism School's new report on "post-industrial journalism." [Nieman Journalism Lab]

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Why did readers of The Times have to turn to Ed Pilkington of The Guardian, or to one of the great number of other news organizations that sent reporters, to hear Private Manning tell of the Mordor into which he had been drawn — where he had to stand naked, in chains, in the “maximum custody” brig at Quantico, Va., imploring his prison guards for something as simple as toilet paper, or, earlier, in a “cage” in Kuwait?

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From our inbox...

A reader writes of my profile today of Tumblr's Storyboard:

Interesting piece! Here's my gripe, which you obviously did not ask for: Sending one reporter to Taipei doesn't really cost that much, nor would I call an editorial staff of four that has a single mandate "a significant editorial investment," particularly when the company is worth nearly a billion dollars. Doesn't Percolate employ more "former journalists" than Tumblr—and generate measurable revenue from all that payroll spending?

Extras...

Among the many kiosks shilling their wares to frenetic holiday shoppers at Jersey City's Newport Centre mall on Sunday was one occupied by the Daily News. The copies of Sunday's edition were free, but the only way to get one of the large Daily News umbrellas that were on display was to buy a subscription: