Tribune-owned Newsday, the Long Island-serving paper, is up for sale according to multiple reports. Both Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) (also based on Long Island) and News Corp (NYSE: NWS). are said to have expressed interest, according to WSJ. News Corp. is apparently interested in combining the paper’s operations with that of the New York Post, which it also owns. NYT also confirms interest by the two companies, while adding Daily News owner and real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman to the list of possible bidders.
A sale of the paper would help the Sam Zell-owned Tribune reduce its onerous debt load, a key challenge given the deterioration of the core business. Earlier today the privately held company firm report that it had swung to a loss on declining revenues. The reports don’t offer a price, although Newsday is advantaged by serving relatively affluent Long Island. One newspaper analyst quoted in the Times pegs the price at $350-$400 million, although, he notes, that’s down from a value of $1 billion five years ago.
Barring a sale, Tribune could still establish some sort of production or editorial JV with either the NYP or Daily News. That could reduce costs, though it wouldn’t necessarily provide any cash to Tribune, depending on how the deal is structured.