Newsweek Is a Respectable GirlS

Newsweek—though financially ruined—had quite a few suitors for her attention. But her father, Donald Graham, won't let her just run off with any old fast fella with cash and flash. He's finding her a nice, old, upstanding buyer.

Out of the initial crew of aspiring owners/ crazies, the NYT says that a clear leader has emerged: Sidney Harman, the 91 year-old stereo billionaire who's said repeatedly that he just wants to buy Newsweek because, well, he can, and he likes Newsweek. Of all the bidders, Harman has the least incentive to gut the magazine, and the greatest ability to take the financial losses that would come with keeping Newsweek reasonably robust.

One person briefed on the bid said Mr. Harman would retain 250 [of 325 current] employees and pay the Post Company $1 in exchange for taking on Newsweek's considerable financial liabilities. Losses at the magazine could approach $70 million this year, this person said.

He's just an old dude who wants to be like Mort Zuckerman! Sell him the mag, it'll be great. While he's still around. WaPoCo CEO Don Graham reportedly doesn't want to sell the mag to one of the bidders, Avenue Capital, because they might hand over some Newsweek functions to AMI, which runs the National Enquirer, and Graham just thinks that's too sleazy. Aw. It's kind of nice that people still want magazines to be respectable, you know? (It's what the Historical Jesus would want). Enjoy it while it lasts.