Publishing magnate Rupert Murdoch today (November 27) sent out a tweet saying that Tribune Publishing, now parent of the Los Angeles Times and Union-Tribune, will be sold to a Wall Street group. Then the Los Angeles Times will be sold to L.A. billionaire Eli Broad and a group of local investors.
If that scenario unfolds, this would almost certainly mean that the Union-Tribune would go with the Times to Broad and his L.A. colleagues. The L.A. Times contingent and Chicago's Tribune Publishing headquarters have been feuding publicly; U-T management has taken the side of the L.A. group.
Murdoch's tweet is believable because of the feuding, as well as Tribune Publishing's poor performance.
The U-T was owned by Copley Newspapers for many decades. In March of 2009 it was sold to Platinum Equity, a private-equity operation based in Beverly Hills. In November of 2011, the paper was sold to real estate developer Douglas Manchester. In May of this year, it was bought by Tribune Publishing.
Murdoch's tweet said, "Strong word Tribune newspaper group to be bought by Wall Street firm. L.A. Times to go to philanthropist Eli Broad and local group."
Murdoch didn't say it, but it's likely the publisher of the U-T would become Austin Beutner, who was fired earlier this year by Tribune Publishing.
Tribune Publishing stock closed today at $9.29, down 1.59 percent.