Cablevision will pay Tribune Co. $650 million for Newsday, the companies said this morning. The cable operator's bid for the Long Island daily and its free offshoot amNew York topped $580 million offers from New York Daily News owner Mortimer Zuckerman and News Corp., reports the Wall Street Journal.
Real estate magnate Sam Zell bought Tribune Co. in December for $8.2 billion and faces $650 million in debt repayment this year. The sale, which returns Newsday to local ownership, helps alleviate that burden but has drawn analysts' criticism. Speaking about the family that owns Cablevision, an analyst told the New York Times, "It’s always a fun parlor game to figure out the Dolan family’s motivations."