"We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner," said a release today from 21st Century Fox. "Currently" is the key word.
Nobody believes Rupert Murdoch (83) is going to simply walk away. The $60B mega-acquisition of Time Warner would be a fitting legacy to his long career.
The transaction also would provide Murdoch a solid lift from the scandal that rocked News Corp.
That sordid episode had Murdoch testifying and dodging a pie during a parliamentary inquiry into the hacking scandal and personally apologizing via a meeting with the father and mother of dead teenager Milly Dowler, who was at the center of hackergate.
The event caused News Corp. to shut down the News of the World tabloid, a further embarrassment.
Murdoch has already restructured his newspaper holdings (Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Times of London, The Sun and The Australian) into a revamped and independent News Corp.
His children are poised to slide into top management posts at both News Corp. and 21st Century Fox.
A Time Warner deal would give synergies and greater scale for 21st Century Fox as competition evolves to include Google, Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Netflix, Apple, Microsoft in the mashed up media, entertainment, communications, technology world.
Wild card: Sumner Redstone, the 91-year-old controller of Viacom, who could emerge as a key ally of Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.