Newsday Has a New Suitor in Quirky Real-Estate Man Robert Toussie

Robert Toussie, a Brooklyn-based real-estate developer with sizable holdings in Suffolk County, is interested in buying Long Island daily Newsday, The Wall Street Journal‘s Deal Journal blog reports.

The would-be publisher has an unconventional style:

On March 10, Toussie sent Charles Dolan, chairman of Cablevision Systems Corp., Newsday’s owner, a letter about his interest in buying the newspaper and its website

“It is simply a function of price and certified statements,” Toussie wrote in the four paragraph letter, reviewed by Deal Journal. He has not heard back from Dolan, he said in an interview.

A Cablevision spokesman said he was not sure whether Dolan had received Toussie’s letter, which was sent via fax to the Cablevision office in Bethpage, NY. “Newsday is not for sale,” the spokesman said.

Deal Journal characterizes its interview with Toussie as “long and sometimes rambling.” The report also notes that Toussie describes himself as a computer illiterate who has “10 phones and no secretary.”

Both Toussie and his son, Isaac, also a real-estate developer, have faced a legal rollercoaster in recent years. A lawsuit against him relating to poorly built homes was recently dropped.

UPDATE: A recent Newsday article says that a case against Toussie and a mortgage bank was settled for $455,000. A company owned by Toussie agreed to pay $55,000 to settle the case.

In 2008, then-president George W. Bush pardoned Isaac following his 2001 guilty plea to false-document charges. The pardon was later revoked amid revelations that Robert made large donations to the Republican party in April 2008.

Photo: Maxine Hicks for The New York Times.