Nov 10, 2017

Report: Murdoch spoke to AT&T CEO twice about CNN

Photo: Jason Reed, Pool / AP

21st Century Fox and News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch reportedly called AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson twice to talk about CNN, sources tell Reuters. One source said Murdoch offered to buy CNN in both conversations, while another said Murdoch has "zero interest" in owning the news network. Antitrust regulators at the Justice Department are currently reviewing a deal for AT&T to acquire CNN's parent company, Time Warner.

Why it matters: Adding CNN to 21st Century Fox's news portfolio makes more sense now knowing that Murdoch was having conversations about selling the entertainment side of his business. CNBC reported earlier this week that 21st Century Fox had been holding talks to sell most of its entertainment assets to Disney and instead focus on growing its domestic news and sports footprint. Time Warner shot down an $80 million buyout offer from 21st Century Fox three years ago.

Go deeper: Stephenson recently shot down rumors that regulators asked him to divest CNN in order to let the merger between AT&T and Time Warner go through. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the DOJ, which was rumored to be leaning toward approving the merger by the year's end, was recently weighing a lawsuit to block the deal.

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What to watch in tonight's Democratic debate

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Colorado. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Bernie Sanders is now the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his opponents are ready to try to knock him down at tonight's debate in Charleston, South Carolina β€” especially Michael Bloomberg, who was the punching bag at the Las Vegas debate.

Why it matters: This is the last debate before Super Tuesday, when Sanders is expected to win California and Texas and could secure an insurmountable lead for the Democratic nomination. That's a direct threat to the entire field, but especially to Bloomberg, who skipped the early states to focus on the March 3 contests.

Bob Iger to step down as CEO of Disney

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Walt Disney Company said Tuesday that it had named longtime Disney executive Bob Chapek as CEO Bob Iger's successor, effectively immediately. Iger will remain executive chairman of the company through 2021.

Why it matters: Iger is credited with having successfully turned around Disney’s animation and studio businesses and with the strategic acquisition of Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. Most recently, he was the person behind Disney's successful launch of its Netflix rival Disney+.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business