Fox News Owner Rupert Murdoch Moved To Buy CNN In Recent Months
Could Fox News host Sean Hannity and CNN’s Jake Tapper be co-workers in the near future? News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch offered to purchase CNN after AT&T acquires the news network in its deal with Time Warner.
Rupert Murdoch telephoned AT&T Inc (N:T) Chief Executive Randall Stephenson twice in the last six months and talked about cable network CNN, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters on Friday.
According to one of the sources, the 86-year-old executive chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (O:FOXA) offered to buy CNN in both conversations.
Another source said Murdoch had “zero interest” in owning CNN.
News of the failed takeover comes amid reports the AT&T-Time Warner deal is under immense scrutiny from U.S regulators as concerns grow over the potential implications the merger would have on the broader media landscape.
The Justice Department is demanding Time Warner sell CNN as a condition to approve the deal. According to Fox News, CBS has expressed interest in acquiring CNN.
The Financial Times later reported the Justice Department told AT&T and Time Warner would need to sell CNN, Time Warner’s cable news network, as a condition in order for the acquisition to go through, according to three people with knowledge of the negotiations.
CNBC has confirmed the Justice Department has asked AT&T to sell Turner Broadcasting, which includes CNN, for merger approval.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized CNN as fake news on his social media Twitter account in the past year.
“We are in active discussions with the [Department of Justice]. Those are continuing on. I can’t comment on those discussions, but with those discussions, I can now say that the timing of the closing of the deal is now uncertain. With regards to the transaction, everything continues as we’ve expressed in the past,” said AT&T CFO John Stephens in a statement Wednesday.
According to Fox Business News reporter Charles Gasparino, CBS has expressed “some interest,” in purchasing CNN, as well.
Tweet credit: Charles Gasparino
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) November 8, 2017