News Corp. is not looking to be a runner-up following the withdrawal of Microsoft's $47.5 billion bid for Yahoo.
During the media giant's quarterly earnings call Wednesday, executives made it clear that nothing is currently cooking on the deal front with Yahoo, as a white-knight alternative; Microsoft, despite earlier reports the two were tentatively exploring options; nor Time Warner's AOL unit.
"To say talks have cooled overstates them," Peter Chernin, News Corp. chief operating officer, said during the conference call, in response to questions about talks with Yahoo. "We have regular conversations with everyone in the space. I'm not sure I would ever characterize them as talks...We always look at strategic options, but we feel very comfortable with our current positioning."
And with Microsoft? Chernin had this to say: "We are not in discussions with Microsoft."
But what is News Corp.'s interest in a deal with Microsoft, as it relates to Yahoo or AOL?
"We would respond accordingly to any propositions that we think did, or didn't, make sense to us," Chernin said.
And does that mean discussions are ongoing with Yahoo or AOL?
"There are no ongoing discussions," Chernin said. "I have not had a conversation with Yahoo or AOL for a couple of weeks."
Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.'s CEO and chairman, chimed in: "Nor have I."
So, at least for now, nothing is going on between Rupert & Co. and the Microsoft-Yahoo-AOL crew.