The Tavis Smiley show today posted a clip from an upcoming show in which billionaire Eli Broad says he's not aware of any deal under consideration for Tribune Publishing or the Los Angeles Times. Broad was responding to a question from Smiley about the Rupert Murdoch tweet last month saying there was strong talk of such a deal. "I'm not aware of anything going on," Broad told Smiley. "There is no deal in the works." Broad repeated his position that local ownership would be good for the Times — he drew a distinction between local owners investing in the newsroom and the recent Tribune cuts that reduced the newsroom staff by about 80 people. The full interview airs Dec. 14.
However, there is new chatter going on around the Times building. The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight that Tribune Publishing is "working to put together an offer for Freedom Communications Inc., one that would top a bid from the existing owner of the Orange County Register publisher." Also, Tribune Publishing CEO Jack Griffin reportedly has scheduled an 8 a.m. Wednesday announcement of some kind, and the company's board chairman, Eddy Hartenstein, was seen around today. So stay tuned on that.
Here's the Broad clip with Smiley.