October 1, 2020

Bloomberg Pays Tribute to The Financial Times, Reigniting Speculation on a Bid

In a speech for the occasion, Mr. Bloomberg said he was there “to celebrate my second favorite financial news outlet,” which he said has “always been on the cutting edge of financial journalism.”

Mr. Bloomberg has a standard response these days to inquiries about his interest in adding The F.T., currently owned by British company Pearson, to the financial media company that bears his name: “In fact, people are always telling me I should buy the F.T.,” Mr. Bloomberg said. He paused for comic affect, adding: “I buy it everyday.”

The Empire State Building glowed in a pink hue to celebrate the bisque-colored paper that got its start in Britain on May 1, 1888. The TV host Charlie Rose and the British advertising executive Martin Sorrell were among the guests who sipped pink champagne and vodka-spiked pink lemonade in the airy courtyard of the Academy Mansion near Central Park, a live jazz band playing in the background.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bloomberg faulted The New York Times for failing to report on the victims of gun violence while its editorial page criticizes the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy. A day later, he seemed somewhat apologetic, fondly recounting The Times’ founding and counting the paper among the “three great newspapers” including The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. “You have to read all three and I do,” he said. “And then I read the papers that really matter, The New York Post and The Daily News.” (Also a day later, The Times reported on the crime that the mayor complained the paper had ignored: the shooting death of Alphonza Bryant III, 17, in the South Bronx.)

Mr. Bloomberg has talked to aides about whether he should purchase The Financial Times Group, according to people close to the mayor. One sticking point is that the division includes a half interest in The Economist, which Mr. Bloomberg has long coveted. Under the co-ownership agreement, however, The Financial Times Group, has no editorial control over the magazine.

“Why would you buy it if you can’t control it?” Mr. Bloomberg said at a party in Washington on Saturday. When asked whether he wants to buy The F.T., he said: “What do I know about newspapers?”

Marjorie Scardino, Pearson’s longtime chief executive who once said the paper would be sold “over my dead body,” left the company on Dec. 31. John Fallon, a longtime executive on the education side of Pearson’s global business, took over in January, sparking speculation that the “go-to paper for the respectable broker and honest financier” (in Mr. Bloomberg’s words on Wednesday), would be put on the block. A company spokesman previously said Pearson was not exploring a sale of The F.T.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/business/media/bloomberg-pays-tribute-to-the-financial-times-reigniting-speculation-on-a-bid.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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