Cablevision Completes Newsday Deal

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Cablevision Systems said Tuesday that it has completed its acquisition of 97% of Newsday Media Group, the partnership that includes Long Island, N.Y., newspaper Newsday, through the formation of a partnership with the paper’s former owner Tribune Co.

Cablevision emerged as the winner for Newsday in May, after a weeks-long auction process that included other media giants like News Corp. and N.Y. Daily News and U.S. News & World Report publisher Mortimer Zuckerman among the bidders. Cablevision came out with the highest bid -- $650 million – and officially reached an agreement with Tribune on May 12.

The newly created Newsday Media Group will be headed by Cablevision chief operating officer Tom Rutledge and will include Newsday; free New York City daily amNewYork; Newsday Interactive, including and other local information Internet sites; local weekly shopper publisher Star Community Publishing; and lifestyle magazine publisher Island Publications.

Newsday publisher Tim Knight will continue to oversee the paper and will report to Rutledge.

“We deeply appreciate Newsday’s journalistic excellence, editorial voice and advertising value,” Rutledge said in a statement. “Adding Newsday to the Cablevision family will combine powerful newsgathering capabilities with industry-leading electronic distribution.”

In a statement, Cablevision and Newsday said they are immediately exploring ways to grow their advertising and subscription-based businesses. Cablevision is expected to begin using its cable systems across the New York area to run Newsday advertisements that highlight the strength of the paper's news, content and advertising. Through its interactive advertising capabilities on both its cable systems and data networks, Cablevision will also begin marketing subscriptions for Newsday

Cablevision and Newsday officials indicated that many collaborations and new initiatives are expected in the coming months as the Newsday partnership begins operating under the Cablevision umbrella.