News Corp has made no secret that it is open to partnering up with any broadcaster following the passing of the new media laws, but could Seven West Media (SWM) be its suitor?
While it’s understood that News Corp hasn’t formally approached SWM with an offer, this could change in the near future if the free-to-air broadcaster continues to reduce debt and cut costs, according to Fairfax.
SWM announced it would increase its cost-cutting target by $25 million over the next two financial years in February.
The company is also looking to introduce pay cuts and shake up working conditions through negotiations around its enterprise agreement, following its big money cricket rights deal.
Speaking at the National Radio Conference in Melbourne last year, News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller said the publisher would “partner with anyone”, ahead of the new media laws being passed.
“I don’t think we have any preferred nation in this game in terms of broadcast,” he said.
“Looking forward, this is going to be an industry where you’re sitting next to your partners one day and sitting opposite them the next.”
And after News Corp chairman Lachlan Murdoch failed in his quest to nab Ten with the help of WIN Corporation’s Bruce Gordon last year, Fairfax reported that its rival publisher seriously considered SWM as an acquisition target, but was put off by broadcaster’s debt burden.
SWM declined to comment when contacted by B&T, while News Corp is yet to respond.
News Corp isn’t the only publisher that has been linked to SWM, with Fairfax reportedly in talks with Kerry Stokes’ media baby around a potential merger.