Speed Reads

Mergers and acquisitions

Rupert Murdoch reportedly tried to buy CNN — twice

Fox News boss Rupert Murdoch has on more than one occasion expressed interest in buying CNN, Reuters reports. Murdoch reportedly reached out twice to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in the last six months, and one source told Reuters that Murdoch asked about buying CNN in both calls. Another source countered that Murdoch has "zero interest" in buying CNN.

The report of Murdoch's alleged interest in CNN comes two days after The New York Times and Politico reported that the Justice Department wanted to force a sale of Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting or AT&T's DirecTV before it would approve an $85 billion merger between Time Warner and AT&T. An anonymous news executive who spoke to The Daily Beast said Thursday that the DOJ's request was "politics plain and simple, and an incredibly brazen attempt at interference in a totally straightforward business deal." President Trump has long feuded with CNN and is said to speak to Murdoch on the phone frequently.

In 2014, Time Warner rejected an $80 billion offer to be purchased by Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox. On Friday, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman reported that a person close to Murdoch claimed that the 86-year-old executive said that "he'd work behind the scenes" to stop the merger between Time Warner and AT&T.