Former White House adviser Steve Bannon is looking to buy a respected British newspaper and steer it to the right, according to a report Sunday.
The Breitbart co-founder confirmed that he is looking to assemble a consortium to take over the UK broadsheet The Daily Telegraph.
“It’s one of the great untapped properties,” Bannon told The Sunday Times of London, which said he wanted to make the paper founded in 1855 a “global voice of Trumpian populism.”
Bannon, 65, did not say how he expected to come up with the minimum $130 million asking price for the paper, which last sold for around $860 million in 2004.
“Not sure they really want to sell, so may be [a] total waste of time,” Bannon told the paper of his desire to buy it from current owners, the Barclay family.
Bannon insisted that The Telegraph had already moved to the right during the Brexit era to compete with the UK edition of his often-controversial Breitbart news site — but not far enough.
He blamed an old boys’ network of Conservative “grandees” — hailing mostly from the UK’s top two universities — for the paper’s reluctance to associate with newer right-wing voices responsible for the success of President Trump.
“It’s all that Oxford-Cambridge stuff,” he said.
News of a potential bid sparked alarm among some UK media watchers.
“Steve Bannon owning the Telegraph would, I think, be the end of the Telegraph,” tweeted Alan Rusbringer, a former editor of the left-wing Guardian. “And that, whatever you think of the Telegraph, would be a really bad thing.”
After helping get Donald Trump into the White House, Bannon was forced out in Aug. 2017, immediately returning to his former gig at Breitbart.
It’s not the first time Bannon has reportedly considered buying a well-established media institution — last year he was said to be trying to buy Newsweek even though it was not up for sale.