News Limited: Speculation on us buying Ten is ‘highly fanciful’

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 4.58.18 PMNews Limited has this afternoon rejected speculation that it is interested in purchasing Channel Ten, describing the suggestions as “conspiratorial, highly fanciful and wrong”.

The statement comes after the Greens today urged Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to toughen media ownership rules due to fears the appointment of former News Corporation senior executive Hamish McLennan as CEO of Channel Ten could be a sign of a desire by News to purchase the free-to-air TV station.

In a statement, a spokesman for News Limited said: “Much of today’s reporting and commentary is conspiratorial, highly fanciful and wrong.  News Limited has no plans to acquire Channel Ten.

“News is opposed to the imposition of additional tests for media ownership, not least because massive increases in media diversity, and the extensive pro-competition and pro-diversity powers held by the ACCC and ACMA render them entirely unnecessary,” said the spokesman.

Under current media ownership laws there are restrictions on ownership that limit the ability of individuals and corporations to own assets across print, radio and television, under a “two out of three” rule.

News Limited owns newspapers including The Australian, The Telegraph in Sydney, the Courier Mail in Brisbane and the Herald Sun in Melbourne. It also owns Fox Sport and has 50% and operating control of Foxtel.

According to the The Australian, The Greens are urging a tightening of the legislation citing McLennan’s previous roles at News Corporation and also the influence of Channel Ten chairman Lachlan Murdoch, son of News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, and a shareholder in Channel Ten and DMG Radio.

Nic Christensen 


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