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Bloomberg Says Not Interested in Newspaper Business

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday he is not entering the newspaper business, after media reports said he could be a possible suitor for New York Times.

"I am not going to go into the newspaper business," Bloomberg said at a press conference. "I am not a newspaper person."

Newsweek in its April 28 edition cited Bloomberg as a potential rescuer for the Times, which has suffered shareholder scorn over its performance in the past few years. The New York Post in Monday's edition reported that some members of the Ochs-Sulzberger family, which controls the Times, may be interested in finding such a rescuer.

Newsweek, quoting an unnamed source, said that Bloomberg could take the company private and "help protect the brand" with his estimated $11.6 billion personal fortune.

Shares of the New York Times , publisher of the newspaper of the same name and the Boston Globe, rose as much as 3 percent Monday but gave back much of those gains later in the day.

A Times spokeswoman, repeating a position frequently attributed to the Ochs-Sulzbergers, said the family believes the company's current capital structure is the best way to protect its editorial independence.

Holders Push the Ochs-Sulzbergers

The Ochs-Sulzberger family has controlled the Times since 1896, a structure it has preserved with a second tier of voting shares, but many holders of its publicly traded shares have accused the company's executives of not managing it properly and have sought more power over its future strategy.

Most recently, the Times agreed to support two board nominees put forth by hedge fund Harbinger Capital Management, who would be the first outside directors at the company since it went public.

Harbinger and board nominee Scott Galloway of Firebrand Partners have urged a number of changes at the Times, including possibly selling off properties.

Thomson Reuters competes with Bloomberg in providing financial news and information.

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