New York Media Moguls Chase Tribune's Newsday

24 March 2008

NEW YORK: Struggling US newspaper publisher Tribune Company has attracted the attentions of three mighty media moguls interested in snapping-up its Newsday title.

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, real estate developer and publisher Mort Zuckerman and the Dolan Cablevision clanare all reportedly exploring the possibility of acquiring the Long Island, New York-based title.

Tribune, now controlled by Chicago property billionaire Sam Zell, posted less-than-sparkling full-year results late last week, which showed a sharp downturn in profit from $594 million (€384m; £299m) in 2006 to $86.9m.

The company's other titles include the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, whose advertising revenues have been hit hard by the slump in US real estate.

When Zell acquired the company he said he was not planning to shed any of its titles, however the nation's economic turmoil has forced him to reconsider the position.

Newsday is one of the group's most lucrative publications, serving an affluent commuter area near New York City. Analyst John Morton estimates its price tag could be to be up to $400m.

Acquisition of Newsday would allow Murdoch's New York Post to ratchet up pressure on Zuckerman's rival tabloid, The Daily News, and vice versa.

Cablevision also has a presence on Long Island where it owns a local news station.

So far, all parties remain silent as to their intentions.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff