Could Mort Zuckerman’s New York Daily News be sold for as little as $1? That is how much Cablevision has offered for New York’s #3 daily according to a report by Reuters.
The report was based on an unnamed source and neither Cablevision nor The Daily News has commented on it as of yet.
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Why so little money? The tabloid known for provocative headlines which is the perennial number two tabloid in New York City behind the much more popular Post is reportedly operating at a $30 million annual loss and has $150 million invested in its printing press.
So the $1 offer is more about helping Mr. Zuckerman unload a money bleeding operation which is so heavily in debt that it would seem absurd for any investor to want to pay good money for it.
But it is also a sign of the times. All print media is suffering. All daily newspapers and magazines have been plummeting in circulation due to competition from the Internet. People can now get all their information on line for free so why buy a newspaper?
Also, breaking news can be had at any time now.
Newsweek recently ended its print edition and is now only available on line. Once venerable publications like the New Republic have gone from weeklies, to bi-weeklies to only monthlies.
Just last month Zuckerman revealed that he was considering selling the paper saying, “Although there are no immediate plans to consider a sale, we thought it would be prudent to explore the possibility. I have not come to this decision easily. The immense hard work in turning the business around in an extremely challenging period for the industry.”
Earlier this month the owner of the supermarket chain Gristedes John Catsimatidis expressed interest in purchasing The Daily news. He said of the paper, “It’s a great asset to New York. It deserves to live, but it’s a long way between today and Tipperary.”