Mike Bloomberg consigliere Kevin Sheekey hasn’t been heard from much recently–outside of a court appearance in the John Haggerty trial–but he makes an appearance today in a big story in Newsbeast about his company, Bloomberg LP (which is of course, owned by the same guy who wrote his paychecks previously, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.)
In the piece by former NYO staffer Nick Summer, Mr. Sheekey makes a pointed reference to the declining fortunes of the New York Times:
Other media outlets don’t have a cash cow anything like this. And BGov chairman Kevin Sheekey couldn’t help but rub it in, walking up to the terminal’s blinking prompt and challenging one guest: “Why don’t you look up the price of the New York Times Co.?”
And intriguingly for political junkies, Mr. Sheekey talks up Mayor Bloomberg’s life when he leaves the confines of City Hall, something that is being bandied about in political circles today as evidence that the mayor is thinking of running for president again.
“City Hall holds him back. He stands to become something much larger after he leaves office,” says Sheekey. “Mike Bloomberg has the ability to be the best parts of Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch, and Bill Gates all rolled up into one.”
The main thrust of the article however is that Bloomberg L.P. is seriously considering making a play for The Financial Times.
First it was The New York Times; lately speculation has turned to the Financial Times, which is more of a natural fit in subject matter and also a publication much more likely to be sold by its parent, Pearson. Though it accounts for less and less of the education giant’s total revenue, the FT is not a weak paper. Its business journalism is highly regarded. It is one of the few newspapers to successfully charge for its content online. And its editorial page could provide a prominent boost for Bloomberg View, an opinion-journalism site meant to channel Michael Bloomberg’s centrist politics. It’s also the arm of the company he seems most likely to engage with after leaving City Hall: BView opened up shop not at Bloomberg Tower but inside the building that houses the mayor’s personal Bloomberg Philanthropies effort.
BGov’s Sheekey, Irish and mischief-eyed, seems to enjoy fanning the acquisition rumors. He’s not just another company exec—a top Michael Bloomberg lieutenant, Sheekey ran his three mayoral bids (and explored a run for the presidency in 2008). “They’d get much more interesting if the company ever bought a newspaper,” he says, out of the blue, referring to the View columnists. “Was that on the record?”
Bloomberg’s Plan for World Domination [The Daily Beast]