Cablevision Makes $650 Million Bid for Newsday

Cablevision Systems has made a $650 million bid for Tribune's Newsday newspaper, topping rival offers from media titans Rupert Murdoch and Mortimer Zuckerman, a source briefed on the matter said Friday.

Murdoch's News Corp and Zuckerman's New York Daily News newspaper have made separate offers of $580 million for Newsday, sources have told Reuters.

But a person with knowledge of the matter says Murdoch won't match Cablevision's offer.

Long Island-based Cablevision , owned by the Dolan family, was considering a joint bid with Jared Kushner, owner of the New York Observer newspaper, but decided to go solo just a few days ago, the source said.

The Cablevision offer includes a joint venture that would allow Tribune to keep a small stake in Newsday to avoid capital gains taxes, the source said.

A spokesman for Cablevision declined to comment on the matter. Tribune and News Corp. were not immediately reachable for comment.

Real estate tycoon Sam Zell took Tribune private last year in an $8.2 billion buyout that restructured the publisher as an employee-owned company, saddling it with more than $10 billion of debt.

Newsday is for sale at a time when newspapers are commanding low prices because of shrinking advertising sales and declining profits.

For Cablevision and the Dolans, a deal would add Newsday to a stable of metro-area properties that include the Madison Square Garden sports and entertainment complex in the heart of Manhattan.