Newsday, Long Island’s daily newspaper, earned $80 million dollars (before taxes, etc) last year. The Tribune Company is selling the property and Mort Zuckerman and front- runner Rupert Murdoch are its pursuers. Mr. Murdoch has reportedly offered $580 million for Newsday and it’s a very good value.
The paper, you see, has monopoly status on Long Island, home to some of the highest wage earners in the country. At one time Newsday was the 6th leading daily newspaper in the U.S. but it never really delivered on its full potential. With some proper handling and if it expunges its NYC envy, the paper has amazing upside.
Long Island is a unique place. Many unique places, if fact, and writers who love and live here if given a targeted mission are likely to double the circulation of the paper in no time. And let’s not even get into the web side of Newsday’s future. With smart care and feeding of Newsday.com, it could dwarf the paper in 10 years.
I hope Mr. Zuckerman wins the battle. The future will look rosier for Newsday if he does.