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Eli Broad Shoots Down Reports He’s in Talks to Buy LA Times

”It was all news to me,“ philanthropist says

Philanthropist Eli Broad shot down reports on Tuesday that he’s in talks to buy the Los Angeles Times.

“It was all news to me,” he told PBS’ Tavis Smiley, vowing, “There is no deal in the works” for him to buy the troubled newspaper.

Rumors of Broad’s play for the paper began on Nov. 27, when News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch tweeted that there’s “strong word” the Times would be sold to Broad while the rest of Tribune Publishing’s assets would be bought by a Wall Street firm.

Tribune Publishing disputed the reports and reiterated its commitment to the Times. It also filed with the SEC on Nov. 30, saying it hasn’t entertained offers to sell its assets.

Broad made clear his desire to buy the Times in September, but was rejected by Tribune. “I made inquiries,” he told PBS. “I’m not aware of anything going on.”

In November, 50 Times staffers accepted buyouts from the company as it aims to boost its bottom line.

“I don’t see how coverage could remain exactly the same given the unique perspective each person brings to their job,” an insider at the Tribune-owned newspaper told TheWrap at the time.

“But the L.A. Times will continue to cover the same beats, topics, regions, etc. it has been covering.”