Billionaire Michael Bloomberg wants to expand his media empire — and is interested in buying either Dow Jones, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, or the Washington Post, according to a report.
Citing sources “familiar with Bloomberg’s thinking,” Axios reported Friday that Bloomberg wants to expand his namesake media empire and sees Rupert Murdoch’s Dow Jones as a perfect fit.
While the former mayor of New York sees a Dow Jones acquisition as “ideal,” he also would be interested in acquiring the Washington Post if owner Jeff Bezos is interested in selling, believing the combination would create “a formidable potential competitor to The New York Times,” according to the report.
The combination of Dow Jones and Bloomberg Media would create a business news juggernaut, bringing together Bloomberg News and its lucrative terminal business with Dow Jones, the publisher of financial titles such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch.
Dow Jones is owned by News Corp., which also owns the New York Post. Axios said Bloomberg has yet to approach Murdoch about his interest, nor has he engaged any third parties, such as bankers, to evaluate the opportunity.
A rep for Bloomberg dismissed the speculation and said: “Theres nothing to comment on.”
“The Washington Post is not for sale,” a company spokesperson said.
News Corp declined to comment.
As for Bezos, Bloomberg is friendly with the Amazon founder but “not close,” a source said, noting that the combination of Bloomberg Media and The Washington Post would be a “formidable” rival for The New York Times.
The Washington Post is expected to lose money this year after losing web subscribers following a Trump-era subscription surge. Last week, the company said it expects to impose layoffs in the first quarter of 2023.
Two big software initiatives under Bezos — who bought the paper in 2013 for $250 million, have been sidelined and could be sold, which has led some to “wonder how invested Bezos continues to be in the property,” Axios reported.
According to Axios, Bloomberg, who is close to Murdoch, believes efforts to merge News Corp and its sister company Fox Corp. “will fail, creating a possible opening.”
Activist investor Irenic Capital Management, which holds 2% of News Corp’s Class B shares said last month that it would rather News Corp spin off parts of its business, such as its real estate platform or Dow Jones to unlock value for investors.