Cablevision Buys Newsday
May 12, 2008 at 5:14 AM (PT)
TRIBUNE has announced the sale of LONG ISLAND daily paper NEWSDAY and free daily tabloid amNEW YORK to the DOLAN family's CABLEVISION for a total of $650 million. The deal comes after RUPERT MURDOCH's NEWS CORP. abruptly dropped its $580 million bid for the LONG ISLAND daily this weekend, citing CABLEVISION's offer, which it termed "uneconomical."
CABLEVISION, which owns MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, the KNICKS and RANGERS, and the MSG cable networks as well as CLEARVIEW CINEMAS and the RAINBOW cable network group, will get about 97% of NEWSDAY in the deal, which values the paper at $632 million and includes an additional $18 million in prepaid rent. TRIBUNE will retain 3% of the paper.
CABLEVISION Chairman CHUCK DOLAN said: “NEWSDAY is one of the great names in the history of American journalism and it is both an honor and privilege to return NEWSDAY back to LONG ISLAND-based ownership after nearly 40 years. We admire NEWSDAY’s strong editorial voice and reputation for quality as well as its leadership in print and online journalism. We are committed to maintaining NEWSDAY’s journalistic integrity and important position in the marketplace.”
TRIBUNE Chairman and CEO SAM ZELL said: “This agreement enables us to maximize the value of NEWSDAY and still retain an interest in this valuable asset. The newspaper has a unique circulation base and a tremendously strong local brand -- expect them to grow and flourish as a result of this new partnership.”
CABLEVISION President and CEO JAMES DOLAN added: “Both CABLEVISION and NEWSDAY are in the content, customer relationship and advertising business, and we see this as a wonderful fit. Adding NEWSDAY MEDIA GROUP’s superb assets to CABLEVISION’s portfolio presents a multitude of opportunities: to provide consumers with additional quality content on multiple platforms; expand advertising opportunities for both entities; and attract a larger audience than either company could on its own. We strongly believe NEWSDAY MEDIA GROUP and CABLEVISION share the same consumer-focused values, and we look forward to building on our mutual history in the NEW YORK area with these wonderful assets under the same umbrella.”