The Latest: Vegas newspaper seller defends Adelson buy

AP News
|
Posted: Dec 17, 2015 8:42 PM
The Latest: Vegas newspaper seller defends Adelson buy

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The latest on the ownership of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (all times local):

4 p.m.

The company that sold the Las Vegas Review-Journal to billionaire casino mogul and GOP mega donor Sheldon Adelson is defending the transaction and slamming the media.

Mike Reed is chief executive officer of New Media Investment Group's subsidiary company Gatehouse Media, which will continue to run Nevada's largest newspaper.

He said the public company had no intention to resell the paper but did so out of fiduciary duty in the interest of its shareholders.

He said Gatehouse didn't disclose the buyer due to a confidentiality agreement and rejected the notion that the paper's integrity had been challenged.

He said the public didn't care about the buyer and that reporters pushed the story with the intention of creating controversy.

The paper's online story about the buyer showed hundreds of reader comments.

___

1:35 p.m.

A media analyst says the sale of the Las Vegas Review-Journal to the family of billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson could be a sign of a new breed of newspaper owner: the political buyer.

Ken Doctor crunched the numbers and said the previous owner effectively flipped the newspaper for a profit. He says Adelson, a major Republican donor, had been pursuing the publication and then ended up paying three times the paper's worth just months after New Media Investment Group bought it in February.

He called it a Monopoly game where the losers are the readers of the daily American newspaper.

Adelson's family confirmed they are the owners of Nevada's largest newspaper in a statement in Thursday's edition, ending a weeklong mystery.

___

10:40 a.m.

A national journalism organization says the sale of the Las Vegas Review-Journal still lacks transparency after billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson's family revealed that they bought Nevada's largest newspaper.

The Adelsons announced that they're the new owners Thursday, a week after the publication was sold for a second time this year at a markup.

Andrew Seaman, the Society of Professional Journalists' ethics committee chairman, said there are still questions about why the new owners went through such great pains to conceal their identity and waited so long to reveal themselves.

The group joined media watchdogs, politicians and the paper's staffers in demanding to know who the new boss was during the weeklong mystery.

The family said it waited to announce the purchase to avoid distraction from Tuesday's Republican presidential debate, which took place at an Adelson-owned casino-hotel.

___

9:40 a.m.

The CEO and publisher of the Las Vegas Sun says he welcomes billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his family to the journalism neighborhood after they confirmed their purchase of Nevada's largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The newspapers have a joint operating agreement, with the Sun delivered alongside the Review-Journal. The Sun's Brian Greenspun said Thursday that if Adelson makes the Review-Journal a financial success, it's good for both of them.

Greenspun says the papers will have some political differences, "but that just makes for good reading." He was once classmates with former President Bill Clinton at Georgetown University and has supported Hillary Clinton's candidacy, while Adelson is a major GOP donor.

Greenspun says it's Adelson's prerogative as owner to set the tone for the paper's editorials.

___

This entry has been corrected to reflect that Las Vegas Sun CEO and publisher Brian Greenspun was once classmates with Bill Clinton but not roommates.

___

7:25 a.m.

The family of billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson confirmed in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that they're the new owners of Nevada's largest newspaper.

The statement printed on page 2 of Thursday's edition comes a week after the paper was sold for a second time this year at a markup.

The owners had remained a mystery until now, with the newspaper's staff and politicians having demanded to know the identity of the new boss.

The Adelsons say they had intended to announce their ownership but held back because Tuesday's Republican presidential debate was taking place at the Venetian, the casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip that's part of Adelson's empire.

Adelson, a major GOP donor, said at the debate that he had "no personal interest" in ownership.