Rupert Murdoch, co-chairman of Wall Street Journal publisher News Corp., said Friday said he had "strong word" that the Tribune Publishing Co.'s newspaper group will be bought by a Wall Street firm, while the Los Angeles Times will be split off and purchased by local investors including philanthropist Eli Broad.
Murdoch, who is also co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, the entertainment and broadcast group, made his comments on Twitter.
Strong word Tribune newspaper group to be bought by big Wall St firm, LA Times to go to philanthropist Eli Broad and local group.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) November 27, 2015
In September, Tribune's board said the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune were "a cornerstone of our company's portfolio and a key component to our success in the future."
Murdoch did not say on his verified Twitter account which firm would acquire the newspaper group or the timing of any deal. Murdoch tweeted that he did not bid on it and had no interest.
A Los Angeles Times representative referred questions to a Tribune Co. spokesman, who could not immediately be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for Broad, who has previously expressed an interest in the Los Angeles Times, declined to comment.
Broad, co-founder of real estate developer KB Homes, is a prominent art collector who, among other things, just opened an expansive art museum named after himself in downtown Los Angeles, as USA Today noted. He has also been active in supporting public education and other endeavors.
The Tribune Co. in September reduced its financial guidance for the year, which it attributed to challenges in Southern California. It replaced the Los Angeles Times publisher around the same time.
Tribune has been making moves lately that are consistent with trying to maximize value of an asset before a sale. Tribune said recently that its workforce will shrink by 7 percent following a buyout of employees. Many of them were at the Times, where there was an exodus of some of the paper's top editorial staff.
Other newspapers published by the Tribune Co. include the Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale and the Orlando Sentinel.
Tribune shares closed at $9.29 on Friday, down nearly 25 percent from $12.24 on Aug. 31.