Zuckerman On Newsday Bidding: Daily News Synergies; Comes Down To Price; Murdoch Always Overpays


Flipped over to MSNBC for a quick morning politics fix and caught Mort Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News (among other holdings), talking about rumors of his interest in Tribune-owned Newsday. He’s definitely interested, as reports have suggested, though the question, as always, is price: “There is an advantage to the possibility of buying Newsday, which is, in a word, to consolidate efforts between it and the Daily News.” But a deal is going to be hard: “Sam Zell, who bought the Tribune company, is trying to get out of the newspaper business as much as he can… (but) I would not bet too much on it or pay too much for it.” As for competition on the deal, Zuckerman took the chance to needle rival Rupert Murdoch: “There’s no question that Murdoch is a very formidable competitor, in part because he’s willing to lose money forever and that’s a very difficult kind of person to compete with… with his company’s stock down at an all-time low, he has to be careful about what he does.” (Note: News Corp (NYSE: NWS). stock isn’t actually at an all-time low, though it is trading near its 52-week low, well off of its highs from early last year.) Bottom line: “(Zell is) going to have to sell it at too low a price; we’re going to have to buy it at too high a price, particularly if Murdoch wants to overpay for it, which is what he always does.”

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