‘NYT’ Says Murdoch, Others Eye ‘Newsday’

NEW YORK The New York Times late Thursday reported that three moguls are in discussions to buy Newsday, the Long Island, N.Y., newspaper, from the Tribune Co.

The Times attributed the news to “people involved in the sale process.”

The three bidders: none other than Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corp., owner of The New York Post; Mortimer B. Zuckerman, who owns The Daily News; and James L. Dolan, whose family controls Cablevision.

The sale process is described as a soft auction in which investment bankers are approaching a selected number of buyers and involves several possible kinds of deals, the Times reported.

From the story: “Mr. Murdoch, for example, is considering a deal that would be structured as a joint venture between The Post and Newsday, that would combine the back-office operations of the two papers. None of the people involved in the auction would be identified because of the confidential nature of the talks.”

Also from the paper’s coverage: Newsday is probably one of Tribune’s more lucrative papers, according to John Morton, a newspaper analyst, because it serves an affluent region near New York City. People involved in the Newsday sale declined to name a price, but Morton estimated that it could be worth $350-400 million, though he cautioned that it was hard to say because Tribune does not report the performance of individual publications.