No one even says the paper is for sale, but Eli Broad, Ron Burkle and Peter Ueberroth "reaffirmed this week their interest in bidding for the country's fourth-largest daily newspaper" should it become available, the LAT's Joseph Menn reports.
"The L.A. Times is a world-class brand," Ueberroth, a financier and former travel entrepreneur, said in an interview this week. "We're always attracted to quality brands."
Though analysts estimate that The Times could sell for about $1 billion, Publisher Jeff Johnson said the paper was not for sale. With about $1 billion in annual sales, the paper accounts for about 18% of Tribune's revenue and about 17% of operating profit....
Yet investors and analysts said Tuesday that a rift between the paper's owner, Tribune Co., and its second-largest shareholder, the Chandler family of Los Angeles, had the potential to put The Times in play.
If that happens, the Chandlers could once again act as kingmaker. A clause in the $8-billion agreement by the Chandlers in 2000 to sell the paper's parent, Times Mirror Co., to Tribune gives the family the right to veto a sale of the flagship newspaper.
Broad, according to Menn, "broached the subject this week with Chandler advisor Thomas Unterman and was told that nothing would happen before this fall." David Geffen's past interest in buying the Times also comes up. Today's New York Times looks at the role of the Chandlers in the Tribune Company's future.