By City News Service
The controlling owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers is considering the purchase of the Los Angeles Times, it was reported Saturday.
Mark Walter, who orchestrated the $2.15 billion purchase of the Dodgers last year, told one of the newspaper's sports reporters his investment firm is looking into buying the West Coast's largest newspaper.
"We want the L.A. Times to be strong," Walter was quoted in The Times Saturday.
Walter is chief executive officer of Chicago-based Guggenheim partners, a financial services company that controls $180 billion in assets, The Times reported. Walters is interested in both The Times and the other crown jewel in the Tribune Company's crown, the Chicago Tribune.
"The Los Angeles Times says something," Walters told a Times sportswriter at Dodger Stadium Friday. "It means something. It's a brand.
"I think people have undervalued that," he was quoted in The Times. "If the price were right, I would buy it."
Guggenheim has recently purchased the Hollywood Reporter, Dick Clark Productions and Billboard magazine. It has an $8.5 billion deal with Time Warner Cable to set up a 24/7 Dodgers television channel, which was a keystone to its Dodgers purchase.
The Times quoted Walter as vowing to keep a critical eye on the Dodgers. "I can't tell you what to write," he said.
Koch Industries, another potential purchaser of The Times, has dropped its efforts to buy newspapers, a spokeswoman said last week. Other possible buyers include Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad, Aaron Kushner, owner of the Orange County Register and Long Beach Register, and newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch, through his News Corp.