Friday, April 25, 2008

Zuckerman matches Murdoch's $580M bid

The owners of rival NYC papers The New York Post and NY Daily News appear to be headed for a bidding war for Newsday even as the News Corp/Tribune deal is reported to be near completion. According to this AP story, Mortimer Zuckerman submitted his offer late Friday.

The Post and Daily News circulate mainly in the New York City area, while Newsday is read mostly in neighboring Long Island. That would offer either bidder the potential of selling advertisers a broad reach of readers in a single ad buy.

It is widely thought that any News Corp. deal would be met with scrutiny by regulators and consumer groups concerned that Murdoch's company would be getting too much control over the New York media market, where News Corp. also owns two local television stations.
It doesn't matter which of the tycoons wins Zell's nod, both face DOJ antitrust reviews. But Zuckerman thinks he can argue that his bid "is more attractive because it does not have the potential to fall into regulatory limbo."

Faced with $1B in debt service costs this year, Tribune is looking for cash. Fast. In a quick deal (21 days) the company closed Tuesday on a $30M sale of the buildings that are home to the Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Times, papers Tribune sold last November.

Timing – if not terms – may favor Zuckerman.

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