Who wants to buy The L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune?

Old buildings: The Times and The Tribune ()
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The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

Here's some news out of the Tribune Company: As it emerges from bankruptcy, the embattled media conglomerate is looking to sell off The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times.

Bloomberg's Edmund Lee reports:

Tribune Co., the bankrupt owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and six other daily newspapers, is interviewing bankers about selling its papers, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

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Tribune Co. is seeking an adviser for a possible sale after the company exits bankruptcy, which is slated to happen by Dec. 31, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp. (NWSA), plans to take a close look at Tribune Co.’s newspaper assets once they’re available, according to a person with direct knowledge of his thinking.

On a conference call with Wall Street analysts and reporters last month, News Corp. C.O.O. Chase Carey declined to comment on the rumors that Murdoch has been eyeing the Times and the Tribune. The company has denied that it is in talks to acquire either paper.

But in a subsequent New York Times piece that News Corp.'s public relations team was happy to pass around to bloggers, Amy Chozick reported that Murdoch was "looking to make acquisitions again" now that the dust from the  U.K. phone-hacking scadal has settled.

On Capital...

Fred Dicker: Long-serving 'Post' editorial-page editor Bob McManus to retire

For employees of Bloomberg LP, a megabonus deferred

The Daily's 'nicely dressed' Mike Nizza is named editor of Esquire Digital

In other news...

Will Piers Morgan be joining the late-night crowd? [New York Post]

More magazines launched in 2012 than in 2011. [Crain's]

For the most part this holiday season, magazines are not partying like its 1999. [W.W.D.]

The most-viewd online news stories of 2012. [The Morning Delivery]

Rupert Murdoch has left the New York Independence Party. [Crain's Insider]

Quote of the day...

Beyond pure desire to succeed, to win, to have the other guy lose, to grasp and crawl to the top, the obvious follow-on question, the one his enemies demand an answer to, is: just what, exactly, has created this vaunted and fearsome Zucker brand? Has he, after all, done anything, in his quarter-century career in television, that is original or groundbreaking?

Michael Wolff

On Twitter...

On TV...

In which Glenn Beck impersonates Bob Costas:

From our inbox...

The Financial Times is giving away free Google Nexus 7 tablets (sort of):

In the US, the Financial Times is giving away a free Google Nexus 7 tablet with the purchase of an annual premium FT.com or combined newspaper/FT.com subscription. The offer, valid until December 17, is available at FT.com/nexus7offer.

The promotion is a natural fit for the FT’s increasingly multi-channel and mobile audience, with almost 14% of all readers now accessing the FT on two or more channels daily, and mobile users generating a quarter of all traffic to FT.com. Mobile also now drives 15% of new subscriptions to FT.com each week.

The devices will arrive pre-loaded with the FT Android app, combining an optimum tablet experience with award-winning FT journalism. The app, available to all FT users at FT.com/Android, is part of the suite of popular FT mobile apps that also includes the FT Web App (winner of a Global Mobile Award for Innovation in Publishing and the 2012 Meffy Award for Best Publisher on Mobile), the Windows 8 app and HTSI iPad app.

Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com, said: “As the tablet market rapidly expands in the US and demand for cutting-edge, small-screen devices continues to grow, this smart offer reinforces the FT’s multi-channel subscription model, giving subscribers full access to FT journalism on any device of their choice with a single log-in.”

The campaign is being supported by advertisements in the FT newspaper and on FT.com, and by other targeted marketing initiatives.

Audience growth at The Wall Street Journal Digital Network:

The Wall Street Journal Digital Network is capping a year of significant audience growth and global expansion across multiple platforms and geographies. Traffic to the Network’s sites – including WSJ.com, Barrons.com, Marketwatch.com, SmartMoney.com and AllThingsD.com – now generates almost 60 million visitors per month, a 16% increase from 2011. WSJ Live, the Journal’s video initiative, is now available on 30 platforms, 18 of which were added in 2012, including Xbox. Streams have increased 370% since January to 35 million across all platforms. WSJ.com also launched sites in three additional languages during 2012 – German, Korean and Bahasa – bringing the total number of local-language sites to eight.

The number of journalists in prison worldwide reached a record high in 2012, according to the latest annual census from the Committee to Protect Journalists:

“We are living in an age when anti-state charges and ‘terrorist’ labels have become the preferred means that governments use to intimidate, detain, and imprison journalists,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Criminalizing probing coverage of inconvenient topics violates not only international law, but impedes the right of people around the world to gather, disseminate, and receive independent information.”

The three leading jailers of journalists were Turkey (49), Iran (45), and China (32), where imprisonments followed sweeping crackdowns on criticism and dissent, making use of anti-state charges in retaliation for critical coverage. This pattern is present in most of the countries in the census. In Turkey, the world’s worst jailer, authorities held dozens of Kurdish reporters and editors on terror-related charges and other journalists for allegedly plotting against the government. Following an extensive case-by-case review in 2012, CPJ confirmed journalism-related reasons in numerous cases previously unlisted by the organization, thus significantly raising the country’s total.

CPJ’s 2012 census of imprisoned journalists identified 232 writers, editors, and photojournalists behind bars on December 1, an increase of 53 from 2011 and the highest since the organization began the survey in 1990. The 2012 figure surpasses the previous record of 185 journalists imprisoned in 1996, underlining a disturbing trend of conflating coverage of opposition groups or sensitive topics with terrorism, evident since 2001.

Rounding out the top five jailers were Eritrea, with 28 journalists in prison, and Syria with 15, the worst abusers of the rule of law. None of the journalists in jail in either country have been publicly charged with a crime or brought before a court or trial. In line with findings over the past five years, a little more than half (118) of those held globally were online journalists and more than a third were freelancers.

“With a record number of journalists imprisoned around the world, the time has come to speak out,” said Simon. “We must fight back against governments seeking to cloak their repressive tactics under the banner of fighting terrorism; we must push for broad legislative changes in countries where critical journalism is being criminalized; we must stand up for all those journalists in prison and do all in our power to secure their release; and we must ensure the Internet itself remains an open global platform for critical expression.”