So Newsweek is reporting, though details are very sketchy and preliminary for now: it reports that Michael Bloomberg’s friends are encouraging him to explore the idea of a Bloomberg-New York Times (NYSE: NYT) merger. The reasoning: the proponents of the merger are appealing to the mayor’s sense of “civic-mindedness,” arguing that he is best suited to take the publishing company private to “help protect the brand” in the wake of relentless shareholder assaults on NYT, and competition from the broadened focus of Wall Street Journal under News Corp.
In the past, rumors have circulated that Carlyle Group was looking at a possible Bloomberg takeover, but that didn’t pan out. Meanwhile, last week in NYT’s earnings call, CEO Janet Robinson was asked whether the company felt any more heat from WSJ, as a competitor, since News Corp (NYSE: NWS). took over its parent company, Dow Jones: