Is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the midst of purchasing the Financial Times? A new report came out Monday that suggested the billionaire media mogul is considering buying the print news outlet.
“Michael R. Bloomberg is weighing the wisdom of buying The Financial Times Group, which includes the paper and a half interest in The Economist, according to three people close to Mr. Bloomberg who spoke on the condition of anonymity to divulge private conversations,” wrote reporters Michael Barbaro and Amy Chozick. “Mr. Bloomberg has long adored The Economist, and his affinity for the paper, at least as a reader, has deepened lately.”
The New York Times reported that the “stars are aligning” for the sale of the Financial Times and that Bloomberg L.P., majority owned by Mayor Bloomberg, is seriously interested in acquiring it.
Pearsons chief executive Marjorie Scardino, who is leaving at the end of the year, has said that the newspaper has not put up a for sale sign – chief executive Rona Fairhead is also leaving in April. The mayor or his staff have reportedly declined to comment on the stories.
Although Bloomberg News generates revenue through online content, Bloomberg heading a print publication is still possible because it would purchase a well-respected daily content generator. It was noted that Reuters is a likely bidder for the financial newspaper.
The news outlet also reported that Daniel Doctoroff, a confidant of Bloomberg and the chief executive of the company, has said that he is rather skeptical on a deal that would involve purchasing a print newspaper. It should be noted that others close to Bloomberg have urged him to make a large digital acquisition, such as LinkedIn.
During a visit to the Financial Times headquarters in London, he was asked if he would purchase the newspaper, in which the mayor responded, “I buy it every day.”
At a book party held by the Bloomberg Family Foundation this past spring, he recalled a conversation he once had regarding newspapers and billionaires.
“Someone said the only people buying newspapers these days are billionaires with egos,” said Bloomberg. “And then he looked at me and said, ‘Like you, Mike.’”