The family of billionaire casino mogul and GOP kingmaker Sheldon Adelson has revealed that it bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal, ending a week of speculation and demands by staff, media watchdogs, and politicians to know the identity of the new boss. After the announcement last week that the paper had been sold to an unidentified buyer at a markup, the paper's own staff took to social media to express frustration and raise transparency and ethical concerns. The Adelsons say they held back because they didn't want an announcement to distract from Tuesday's GOP debate held at the Venetian, the casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip that is part of Adelson's empire. Adelson, a major GOP donor, said at the debate that he had "no personal interest" in owning the paper.
The timing of the sale and the purchase price had pundits theorizing that Adelson bought the largest newspaper in a swing state to influence the presidential election. Nevada is fourth in the primary process, with balloting in February. In the 2012 campaign, the Adelson family spent more than any other donor—about $90 million. Brian Greenspun, CEO and publisher of the rival Las Vegas Sun, says there will clearly be some political differences between the two papers, "but that just makes for good reading." He was classmates at Georgetown University with former President Bill Clinton and has supported Hillary Clinton's candidacy.