The disgraced media proprietor Conrad Black has left open the possibility of returning to the media, saying that much of the newspaper industry offered attractive business opportunities.
In an interview with the BBC Radio 4's The Media Show, Black talked up the industry environment, although he was cautious about making conclusive statements about his intentions.
"I think they have been so devalued that some of them are bargains now. I mean, many of these great American newspapers are now in the hands of receiver managers, and if they can be had for almost nothing, they are a bargain," he said.
When asked if he would consider returning to his career as a media proprietor, he said: "Not as a chief occupation and not in a public company, but it might happen."
In the interview, Black also played down reports about his criticism of Rupert Murdoch, but added that he regarded News Corporation as an at-times "nasty group". In an article published in The National Interest last week, Black described Murdoch as a "great white shark" who saw ordinary people as "a vast lumpen proletariat of deluded and exploitable blowhards".
As the chief executive of Hollinger International, the Canadian-born proprietor oversaw publishers of papers including Britain's The Daily Telegraph, The Jerusalem Post and the Chicago Sun-Times. In 1991, a consortium led by Black became the largest shareholder in Australia's Fairfax publishing group; he sold his 25 per cent stake in 1996.
He is currently on bail pending the outcome of a review of his 2007 fraud conviction, which resulted in his being sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.