Has News Corp. Bid on ‘Newsday’?

By: E&P Staff

News Corp. has reportedly extended an offer to the Tribune Co. to buy Newsday, according to Crain’s New York Business’ Matthew Flamm, who cited an unnamed “newspaper industry insider” as a source.

Tribune Co. spokesman Gary Weitman declined to confirm or deny the report, citing the company never comments on such matters. A News Corp. spokesman also declined comment.

In a quarterly results statement released today, Tribune Chairman and CEO Sam Zell said that the company had begun a “strategic review of certain Tribune assets.”

Rumors have persisted for some time that News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, who was the architect behind the Dow Jones & Co. acquisition, has eyed the Long Island, N.Y. paper.

News Corp., which owns the New York Post, has been on a newspaper acquisition spree of late mostly in New York City. In September 2006, the company bought a group of weekly newspapers in Brooklyn and Queens and this summer it successfully bid for the parent company of The Wall Street Journal.

The highly leveraged Tribune Co. reported today in Q4 (adjusted for an extra week) that operating cash flow dropped 41%.

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