Chinese Tycoon Wants to Buy the New York Times

Talk about ending the year with a bang. Megha Rajagopalan, a politics and general news correspondent for Reuters in Beijing, just tweeted the following. A mega pick-up by Megha, as it were:

According to her piece and other Chinese media reports, colorful recycling magnate turned philanthropist Chen Guangbiao has been thinking about buying the New York Times for the past couple of years and is finally set to move on his grandiose plan. He says he will meet in New York on January 5 with one of the paper’s major shareholders:

“There’s nothing that can’t be bought for the right price,” Chen told Reuters.

It is unlikely that the Times, which has long been controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family, would sell to Chen.

Rajagopalan has got that right. Still, Chen has put an estimated price tag of $1 billion on the paper and says he has partnered with a for-now anonymous fellow tycoon in Hong Kong to potentially pony up around 60% of the necessary funds.

He also states that if he can’t buy the paper, he still plans on becoming a major stakeholder. And-or redirecting his takeover efforts at CNN, the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal! (Someone may want to tell him it’s unlikely Bezos is in it for the flip.)

Successful or not, this is a) quite the jump from taking out a half-page NYT ad in 2012; and, b) the wackiest story imaginable to make it under the 2013 NYC media wire. Read the rest of Rajagopalan’s piece here.