Rupert Murdoch isn't the only newspaper mogul who is aggressively pursuing a purchase of Newsday, sources said Friday. Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman is still in the game.
Two sources close to Zuckerman confirmed that, as of Thursday, he was aggressively preparing a bid for Newsday. His representatives have declined to comment about a potential bid.
A former Newsday executive with knowledge of the situation said Zuckerman is "very much in this" and had been "looking very hard" at Newsday " ... for a very long time."
Meanwhile, even though Newsday has excess printing capacity, a group of Newsday production officials last week inspected dormant presses at an Edison, N.J. plant that The New York Times is process of closing, a union source said yesterday.
The information follows reports last week that Tribune Co., Newsday's cash-strapped corporate parent, had sought bids on Newsday from potential buyers. They include Zuckerman; Murdoch's News Corp., which owns the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal; and the Dolan family, which controls Cablevision Systems Corp. and News 12, a cable channel that covers Long Island news.
Analysts have said Murdoch could save money by buying Newsday and combining the production and back-office operations of Newsday, the Post and The Wall Street Journal. A News Corp. spokesman would not comment on the deal.
The Post is printed at a South Bronx plant that was built in 2001 at a cost of about $250 million. Several sources have said the plant is at capacity. News Corp. did not reply to requests for comment.