Newsday Not Murdoch's Yet

Word emerged Tuesday on Rupert Murdoch's handshake deal to buy Newsday, and there was talk about Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman dropping out of the bidding for the Long Island tabloid. But the Times today said Zuckerman is expected to make a counteroffer next week, while Jared Kushner's Observer Media Group may submit a joint offer with Long Island television provider Cablevision, which had dropped out of the running. "People in both the News and Observer camps say they were shocked to learn of the handshake deal with Mr. Murdoch... because they had been assured by Tribune's bankers that they had until next week to submit offers," said the Times. Perhaps Tribune chief Sam Zell, who like Zuckerman is a real estate mogul come to media later in life, understands instinctively that Newsday is best off in the hands of Murdoch, the deep-pocketed lifelong media mogul. Here's how Lloyd Grove compared Zuckerman to Murdoch as he was leaving the former's employ as a gossip columnist in 2006:

"The Daily News and U.S. News are extras for [Zuckerman]. Very serious, very expensive hobbies for Mort. He is not a dilettante, but it's not why he is a billionaire," Mr. Grove said. "Murdoch has ink running through his veins. The guy is the king of all media. And he is happy to own a newspaper in New York that loses money hand over fist in a way that Mort would never tolerate."