21st Century Fox, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, is reportedly positioning itself to make a bid for Tribune Media, which would bring its stable of TV stations into the fold. The New York Times reports that Fox is in talks with the giant investment firm Blackstone Group to put together a bid.
“The move by Fox and Blackstone is aimed at not only bolstering Fox’s television portfolio but also beating an offer by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the country’s biggest station operator, ahead of a bidding deadline this week,” The Times reports, citing sources who have been briefed on the negotiations.
“Under the terms of the potential arrangement, Blackstone would contribute cash to the venture, while 21st Century Fox, the huge entertainment company run by the Murdoch family, would contribute its 28 owned-and-operated stations,” The Times reports. “Representatives for 21st Century Fox and Blackstone declined to comment on their talks, which were reported earlier by Bloomberg News and The Financial Times.”
Tribune owns 42 stations, including more Fox affiliates than any other station owner. The company’s value as of Friday stood at about $3.2 billion.
“The surge of interest in Tribune comes after the Federal Communications Commission decided last week to change regulations governing station ownership,” The Times notes.