Eli Broad, the billionaire businessman who has invested heavily in his hometown of Los Angeles, has reiterated his interest in buying the Los Angeles Times, both in a new book and in an interview with the Times.
A prominent philanthropist and avid art collector, Broad pursued the Tribune Company when it came up for sale in 2007, submitting a bid with supermarket mogul and investor Ron Burkle.
In a new book, “The Art of Being Unreasonable,” Broad writes that he only bid on the Tribune because of his desire to own the Times, and he speculates about the future of the newspaper.
He writes that the paper is likely to be sold once it emerges from bankruptcy and that “this time around, the price should be better and the advantages of local ownership clear to all.”
A spokeswoman for Broad did not immediate respond to TheWrap's requests for comment.
Tribune has been mired in bankruptcy for more than three years. Chicago businessman Sam Zell bought the multi-faceted media company with “little more than $300 million of his own money,” pulling the rest from a combination of loans and an employee stock ownership plan in a move Broad describes the move as "folly."
Tribune, which also owns the Chicago Tribune, others newspapers and several television stations, filed for bankruptcy in December of 2008 as the economic crisis settled into its nadir.
Zell's ownership and the bankruptcy proceedings exacerbated the financial problems most major newspaper companies are already facing, leading to layoffs, frequent editorial and executive changes and widespread discontent within the newsroom.
Broad told the Times he would want to partner with “foundations or wealthy families” to reclaim the city’s journalistic crown jewel, one that has been tarnished by financial and editorial upheaval.