According to a recent story in Britain's satirical newspaper Private Eye, The Times of London's owner Rupert Murdoch wants to sell The Times and perhaps even The Sunday Times. The Times reportedly has been losing as much as 10 million pounds a year, and Murdoch has been preoccupied with media deals in the United States.

When Murdoch first bought full control of The Times, he installed Harold Evans as editor. A year later he fired Evans. A year or so after that, Evans wrote a scathing book about Murdoch. Asked about the Private Eye item, Evans said, "It doesn't surprise me in the least. Murdoch's obviously moved his attentions elsewhere. I know a lot of people who would love to buy the paper." Neither Murdoch nor his investment banker could be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Murdoch has announced plans to begin an afternoon tabloid to be called the London Post. So far there are no plans to begin publishing.

There are, however, plans to continue publishing a column based on the writings of Pope John Paul II. Two syndicates owned by Murdoch have promised to follow guidelines outlined by the Vatican following a controversy earlier this week.

The News America and Times of London syndicates said Thursday that Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications at the Vatican, "suggested a number of important changes for the next column and future columns." Richard Newcombe, president of the syndicates, announced that future columns would include a note saying, "This column has been edited from the writings of His Holiness, John Paul II as pope, and as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla."