Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Murdoch may buy AMNewYork parent

Rupert Murdoch, who already owns the 704,011-circulation New York Post, is considering a bid for Tribune Co., whose New York-area properties include Long Island's 410,000-circulation Newsday and Newsday's free daily, AMNewYork (317,315 circulation). A sale to Murdoch would have to survive antitrust scrutiny and FCC approval (Tribune owns WPIX 11 and Murdoch's News Corp. owns WNYW Fox5). "Acquiring Newsday and merging some of its operations with the Post could help staunch some of those losses," writes media columnist Louis Hau. But what would happen to AMNewYork? It might be tempting for Murdoch to shut it down, even if it is true that the free paper is making a small profit. On the other hand, some readers have come to expect a free paper in the morning, so shutting down AMNewYork would give the free market to Metro New York. It might even open the door to another free paper.