News Corp. Out Of Newsday Auction: Reports

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Reversing field, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has withdrawn its bid to purchase Tribune Co.’s Newsday, according to published reports.

News Corp.offered $580 million for Long Island’s top newspaper, but dropped out of the auction, saying it had become "uneconomical," according to published accounts.

That leaves Cablevision Systems Corp., which has offered $650 million for the newspaper, including some of its real estate holdings, and Mortimer Zuckerman, the real estate who owns the Daily News, in the hunt.

Should Cablevision prevail, it could pair its own local system avails with the newspaper's advertising opportunities to create a puissant promotional play for sponsors on Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Further, it could include a subscription to Newsday to its bundle of video, voice, data and other offerings.

Murdoch, during a May 7 conference call discussing News’s third-quarter results, expressed confident he would be adding Newsday to his far-flung media stable. News Corp. has said publicly that it would not raise its offer the paper.

“I don’t think Cablevision will prevail,” Murdoch said on the Wednesday call.. “Just be patient for a couple of days.

”At that time, Murdoch said he expected the Newsday bidding to be wrapped up within a week..

“I trust Mr. [Tribune Media CEO Sam] Zell absolutely,” Murdoch said. “He’s famous as being a man of his word. We think everything’s in hand.”