Rupert Murdoch Seeks To Buy ’60 Minutes’ From CBS
NEW YORK (AP) _ The executive producer of CBS’ ``60 Minutes″ says Fox Inc. chairman Rupert Murdoch approached him about buying the top-rated news magazine.
Murdoch’s Fox TV group has conducted spectacular raids of CBS, winning rights to National Football League telecasts and taking over eight CBS affiliate stations. But sale of a network TV news magazine would be unprecedented.
Don Hewitt, who founded ``60 Minutes″ and has led it through three decades, said Murdoch asked him if ``CBS would entertain the thought of selling `60 Minutes,‴ New York Newsday reported today.
Hewitt said he responded that he did not own the show and was in no position to sell it. The newspaper said that the show’s staff and headquarters were separate enough from CBS News to make a sale theoretically possible.
Murdoch was traveling and could not immediately be reached to confirm the story, his spokeswoman Marcia Horowitz said today. A call to CBS for comment was not immediately returned.
CBS Chairman Laurence Tisch told Newsday that Murdoch had not called him. Tisch said the program is not for sale.
Tisch has sporadically been reported as entertaining offers to sell the entire network.
While Murdoch has had success producing entertainment at Fox TV, his Fox News division has not been able to launch a successful news magazine. Last month he hired Joe Peyronnin, a former executive at ``60 Minutes.″
Murdoch, whose parent company News Corp. is based in Australia, was traveling Thursday and could not be reached, according to Newsday. His spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, declined to comment to the newspaper.