This is a really bizarre story that was featured on “All Things Considered” yesterday. Nevada’s largest newspaper has been purchased, and the new owner/s won’t tell anybody know who they are.
Adding to the mystery is this:
…why would someone, anyone, buy the Las Vegas Review-Journal for $140 million in cash for about 40 percent more than it had commanded in an earlier sale just months before?
Considering the paper has an agreement with another paper, similar to the one between The Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret Morning News here, this could impact us locally if whoever did this succeeds in being an anonymous forth estate pioneer.
The Deseret News wouldn’t even allow industrialist, and Utahn, John Huntsman to buy out The Salt Lake Tribune here, which made me wonder who they were holding out for. Mitt Romney was floating around in my brain as a possible conflict there, and I’m certain they weren’t waiting for the public to raise enough money to create a journalistic counterbalance to themselves, since they’ve been fighting against that since biblical times around here.
I can think whatever I want, since nobody pays me to do this, but you can be sure the employees of the Las Vegas Review-Journal must be wondering what the hell they can report on, without getting told to hit the streets, but not for stories this time.
I can’t figure out if this phantom owner is really powerful or just stupid. How will he/they be able to get away with this?
David Folkenflik of NPR News, ends with:
The Review-Journal has an arrangement with the smaller Las Vegas Sun, in which the two share costs and profits. In such an agreement, the U.S. Justice Department gets to scrutinize any new owner for antitrust concerns. A Justice Department spokesman wouldn’t comment, but he acknowledged his colleagues had no idea who now owns the paper either.