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News Corp. Joins Chandlers' Bid for Tribune

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has joined the Chandler family in its bid to buy newspaper and television station owner Tribune , a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The source said its participation is considered small and Murdoch chiefly aims to cut printing and back-office costs at the money-losing New York Post newspaper.

News Corp. is restricted from buying Tribune's Newsday as U.S. media ownership laws prevents the company from owning another U.S. newspaper in the same region.

"If their bid is successful (they) would do some deal and have some sort of operating agreement with the Post and Newsday ... that would be financially advantageous through cutting costs," the source said.

The Chandler family, News Corp. and Tribune declined comment.

Tribune, which owns the Los Angeles Times newspaper and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, has received at least three bids and is in the process of reviewing the offers.

The Chandlers, Tribune's biggest shareholder, want to take the newspaper assets private and spin-off its broadcasting business, which has better growth prospects.

A group led by Los Angeles billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle have made what amounts to a leveraged recapitalization proposal for Tribune, according to a source familiar with the matter. Private equity firm Carlyle Group has also submitted a bid for the TV station assets, said another source.

The news of Murdoch's entrance was first reported by the Financial Times Web
site.