Is Eli Broad back in the hunt for the Los Angeles Times?
The billionaire philanthropist stirred speculation to that effect with comments Monday night in a lecture he gave on business and philanthropy in Gotham.
Broad told the aud at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y that he would like to see his Broad Foundation team up with other nonprofit orgs to own the newspaper and allow it to operate with a focus on editorial excellence, rather than profit margins.
“Newspapers ought to be owned by foundations, not look for great financial returns,” Broad said, according to a Reuters report. “If several foundations are involved there is likely to be journalistic freedom.”
Two years ago, Broad and fellow L.A.-based billionaire Ron Burkle teamed up in a bid to buy the Times’ parent company, Tribune Co. The two were outbid by Chicago-based real estate magnate Sam Zell, whose debt-laden takeover deal forced Tribune to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December.
The bankruptcy proceedings, through which Tribune needs to restructure some $13 billion in debt, have spurred rumors that the L.A. Times might be on the auction block again soon.