The seventh-largest newspaper in the United States may soon be changing hands. In a memo sent to staffers Thursday, New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman wrote that he is considering selling the paper after receiving an offer several weeks ago. Neither the price nor its source was identified.
“We thought it would be prudent to explore the possibility and talk to potential buyers and/or investors," Zuckerman wrote. “I want to reassure you that my aim throughout this process will be to do the right thing for the business to ensure the Daily News and its brilliant staff have the best opportunity to achieve all our future ambitions."
In the memo, Zuckerman told employees he had retained the services of the financial advisory firm Lazard.
Zuckerman bought the paper in 1993 for $36 million, rescuing it from bankruptcy. Today, the Daily News is the third-largest paper in New York City by circulation, trailing both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times but ahead of its tabloid rival, the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post. While it has suffered from the same declines in print circulation and revenue afflicting all daily newspapers, its investment in national news coverage and mobile operations have paid off. Its mobile site is one of the top five most-visited newspapers among 18-34 year olds, according to Omniture.
Zuckerman, who made his money in real estate, is also the editor-in-chief of U.S. News and World Report. He has experienced the highs and lows of media ownership. In 2000, he sold Fast Company to the publishing firm Gruner + Jahr for $365 million. One year prior, he sold the Atlantic Monthly, which he’d owned since 1980, to David Bradley for just $12 million, citing a need to spend more time with family.
Zuckerman is the chairman of the real estate investment trust Boston Properties. His personal net worth is estimated to be $2.6 billion.