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Newsmax's Newsweek Bid

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In less than an hour, the next chapter for Newsweek will begin to unfold, as interested bidders are expected to make their initial offer for a magazine that the Washington Post Company no longer wants. Yesterday, New York Magazine's Daily Intel ran down the list of the long-rumored suitors -- including "Thompson Reuters, Allbritton (owners of Politico), Steven Rattner, Mort Zuckerman, and billionaire Haim Saban."

But Yahoo News's Michael Calderone breaks the news of a bold and unexpected suitor:

"Newsmax Media, Inc. has made a bid for Newsweek," according to a statement provided Yahoo! News.

The company also stated that its "bid for Newsweek's print and online assets is congruent with its objective to diversify and expand into numerous distinct media brand offerings, like any major multi-title publisher."

While Newsweek financial struggles are legion, Chris Ruddy's conservative media enterprise has been surprisingly profitable and durable during a period of downturn. In March of 2009, Fortune called Newsmax "The Great Right Hope," and made note of how well it was faring in the conservative media marketplace:

Ruddy's conservative flagship, Newsmax, whose 90,000 circulation flatlined during the Bush years, has climbed to 130,000, eclipsing political peers Weekly Standard (81,000) and New Republic (100,000). Unique visitors to Ruddy's Web site, Newsmax.com, has doubled in the past year, to 3.8 million a month. That's a bigger readership than the Drudge Report.

It has taken a decade, but Newsmax is now a news powerhouse and a must-read on the conservative media circuit. The West Palm Beach,Fla.-based company did $24 million in sales last year (up from $19 million in 2007), coming evenly from subscriptions and advertising income. Two health newsletters aimed at aging boomers bring in about $4 million. Ruddy's Financial Intelligence Report, with 12,000 subscribers, brings in another $1.2 million.

Calderone's got more on this, so make with the click.

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