Exclusive: Cablevision to make $1 offer for New York Daily News

Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:41am EDT
 
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By Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - U.S. cable T.V. operator Cablevision Systems Corp CVC.N is planning to make an offer for the New York Daily News as early as this week, valuing the troubled tabloid at just $1, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The offer would come one month after New York media and real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman said he was considering selling the newspaper and had hired Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N: Quote) to assist with the process. It underscores the declining readership and plunging advertising revenue that have plagued the tabloid for years.

Cablevision's $1 bid takes into account the New York Daily News' reported $30 million annual loss and $150 million investment in a printing press, and declining circulation that relies heavily on newsstand sales rather than on subscriptions, the source said.

The source asked not to be identified because the offer has not been formally presented yet. Cablevision declined to comment while a representative for the New York Daily News could not immediately be reached for a comment.

To be sure, newspapers are not the only part of the media industry which is struggling. Cable distributors such as Cablevision and its larger rivals have also been under pressure to stop consumers from dumping their cable subscriptions, or "cutting the cord", as subscribers shift to internet services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Cablevision also owns the suburban newspaper Newsday. The company, which is controlled by New York's Dolan family, said last month its number of video customers fell 4.7 percent to 2.68 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Zuckerman is co-founder, executive chairman and former chief executive officer of Boston Properties Inc (BXP.N: Quote), a real estate investment trust. New York Daily News' cross town rival, the New York Post, is owned by Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate News Corp (NWSA.O: Quote).

(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

 
Jim Dolan, President and CEO of Cablevision Systems and Executive Chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company, speaks during a news conference to announce details of a newly renovated Madison Square Garden in New York, October 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri