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>> Another bombshell dropping Friday in the soap opera revolving around AT&T's $85 billion offer to buy Time Warner. The latest plot twist introduces a new character into the story line, international media mogul Rupert Murdock, says Reuters media correspondent Jessica Toolhole.>> So we broke news today that Rupert Murdock has reached out to AT&T's CEO Randall Stevenson twice in the past six months asking him about CNN.
Now, sources have disputing accounts of what happened. Our sources tell us that he wanted to buy CNN. He was feeling Stevenson out, said hey, I hear you might be selling some assets. You might be selling CNN. Stevenson said it is not for sale.>> But another sale said Murdoch's interest in owning CNN is quote zero.
Representatives from AT&T, Time Warner, and Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox declined comment. Word of the phone calls come in a week filled with speculation. A government official confirmed a demand from the Department of Justice that AT&T and Time Warner sell either DirecTV or the Turner Broadcasting Unit, which includes CNN, as a condition for approval of the merger.
And Murdoch has been in talks to sell most of the TV and movie assets of 21st Century Fox to the Walt Disney company, according to reporting by CNBC.>> So is interesting because under the deal with Disney, that would have left Fox with news, sports and broadcasting. So it`s possible that maybe Murdoch is feeling out the situation.
Can I build a news sports local broadcasting empire?>> And the plot thickens even further. Murdoch may not even want CNN. According to Vanity Fair, he wants to punish Time Warner for rebuffing his offer two years ago, and is using his connections in the White House to inflict punishment.
A claim, according to the report, Murdoch's team denies.