The head of the world's biggest news company is eying two crown jewels in American journalism: the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. In fact, Rupert Murdoch has been in preliminary talks about buying both papers in a purchase of the Tribune Co., according to executives at Murdoch's media company, News Corp, the LA Times reports. His conservative media empire already includes the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Fox News.
But others are also interested in acquiring the Tribune Co. when it emerges from bankruptcy—possibly late this year—and Murdoch could run afoul of regulators for already owning Fox stations in Chicago and LA. What's more, News Corp investors may balk over Murdoch's old-school insistence on buying newspapers in the Internet age. But he "has an irrational love of newspapers," says one analyst. "He is the last of the press barons … a red-blooded, swashbuckling, stop-the-presses kind of character."