Rupe Pulls a Fast One: Newsday to Cablevision

Only days after confidently declaring that the Newsday deal would be concluded shortly, and presumably in his favor, Rupert Murdoch abruptly pulled out of the bidding over the week-end, a move which landed the paper squarely in the hands of Dolan family owned Cablevision.

Despite rumors that Tribune Co. head Sam Zell was considering Rupe’s offer over the higher one of Cablevision, it appears that in the end losing Rupe’s good favor may have been worth the $70 million after all.

The NYT’s is also reporting that the other contender, Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman, may have been more interested in keeping the Long Island based paper out of Murdoch’s hands than he was in owning it, and did not make a counter-offer when in became clear Rupe was out of the bidding.

According to the Times, Wall St. has questioned the Dolan’s “rationale” for such a purchase saying the bid has a “a touch of audacity to it,” perhaps not that surprising for a family about whom the Times says: “the only thing that is predictable about them is that they are unpredictable.”