Rumours are the fuel that keeps the media bonfire burning warmly during these cold winter days, and there's a very interesting one doing the rounds at the moment. Is Times Newspapers Ltd up for sale? Acquired in 1981 by Rupert to sit alongside the more profitable News Group Newspapers, and undoubtedly occupying a place in the great man's heart, this rumour would in recent times have been laughable.
Now though, could there be a grain of truth in it? With the move to digital paywalls imminent, and the group registering £50m+ losses in recent years, would NewsCorp consider disposing of this prize asset? With James having firmly replaced Les, is their enough ink in the blood at the top of the tree to keep the Papers at any cost? The recent decision to move from free home delivery to paid for delivery for Times+ customers, and increase the cover price to £1, suggests a need to tighten up on revenues is moving further through the business. It'll be interesting to see how many customers drop the home delivery now that a weeks worth of newspapers will cost them over a tenner.
Throw into the mix the ruling by Ofcom that Sky has to wholesale its prized sport assets, diluting potential profitability, then these are challenging times across the News Corp portfolio.
That said, it's one of the few newspaper groups I'd buy at the moment. Good audience, a lot of good strategic work already done, maybe all it needs is to be unbound from the restraints of a big Corporation to survive and flourish in this new age.