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In its attempts to find a buyer for Newsweek, The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) has been said to have hardly given a thought to bids from entities considered too conservative or too tawdry, but it looks like an offer to buy the magazine from an audio equipment impresario appears to be striking the right chords, the NYT reports, citing unidentified sources.
So far, WaPo has reportedly rejected bids for Newsweek from the right-leaning Newsmax Media — too ideological — and from Avenue Capital Group — too entwined with The National Enquirer. But there are three candidates that are being taken seriously: Fred Drasner, previously a partial owner of the Washington Redskins and a publisher of The New York Daily News; hedge fund owner Marc Lasry; and 91-year-old hi-fi pioneer Sidney Harman.
According to the NYT, Harman, the husband of Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, has the most appealing offer to WaPo Chairman Donald Graham because he has stated his willingness to keep 250 of the 325 Newsweek employees on staff. As for the bid, Harman is offering $1 and the acceptance of Newsweek’s liabilities, which are estimated to be about $70 million.