August 26, 2013 / 8:47 PM / 6 years ago

Dodgers owner could be interested in Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune

(Reuters) - Another sports team owner is eyeing the possibility of becoming a newspaper publisher.

Chairman and owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Mark Walter (R) shakes hands with Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett (L) during a news conference for newly acquired Los Angeles Dodgers' Nick Punto, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez after the MLB baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Los Angeles August 25, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Mark Walter, the controlling partner of the group that owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, said he could be interested in buying the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune for the right price.

“The Los Angeles Times says something,” Walter told the Los Angeles Times late on Friday. “It means something. It’s a brand. I think people have undervalued that. If the price were right, I would buy it.”

Walter, who lives in Chicago, is also the chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, an investment banking company.

He told the newspaper he could be interested in buying Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune because he wants to improve the quality of information.

The Tribune Co., which owns both newspapers, declined to comment.

Walter made the comments during a Dodgers game against the Boston Red Sox, a team that has newspaper ties. The owner of the Red Sox, John Henry, agreed to buy The Boston Globe newspaper from The New York Times Co. for $70 million.

The Dodgers are owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group of investors that includes Walter, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and one-time Hollywood studio executive Peter Guber.

Tribune plans to spin out its eight newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, in order to concentrate on its faster-growing broadcast businesses. The CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media, Ross Levinsohn, is a Tribune board director.

As big chains put their newspapers on the block, local owners are lining up to snap up their hometown dailies. “Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffett bought the Omaha World-Herald and local San Diego businessman Doug Manchester acquired the U-T San Diego.

Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler

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