It’s official. Cablevision Systems and Tribune have to a $650 million deal giving Cablevision 97% of Newsday. News Corp. withdrew its $580 million bid on Saturday, while a spokesman declared that the bid had become “uneconomical.”
Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan the deal as a return to local ownership for the Long Island newspaper after four decades under the reins of Chicago-based Tribune.
Newsday reported that local reaction to the sale was mixed, while the deal left Wall Street its head as well, according to the New York Times. Said Jill A. Greenthal, senior adviser at the private-equity firm Blackstone Group: “If you look at the [New York] Post and [New York Daily News owner Mort] Zuckerman’s bid, there are real synergies there… If you look at Cablevision’s bid, [Dolan] really wants to own a Long Island newspaper, which I’m not sure I understand.”
Yet the real winner, according to Portfolio’s Jeff Bercovici, is Zuckerman, who escapes the Post and Newsday squeezing the local print advertising market.