According to one of the sources, the 86-year-old executive chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) offered to buy CNN in both conversations. Another source said Murdoch had "zero interest" in owning CNN.
Reuters said representatives of Twenty-First Century Fox, AT&T and Time Warner declined comment but notes that Stephenson has previously indicated he has no intention of selling CNN:
"I have been called and asked if I would sell CNN by numerous people," Stephenson told the New York Times DealBook conference on Thursday. But he added: "Selling CNN makes no sense."
CNN has become a potential hindrance to AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, which some speculate is politically driven.
Justice Department staff have recommended that AT&T sell either its DirecTV unit or Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit - which includes CNN - a government official told Reuters on Thursday, in order to gain antitrust approval.