May 12, 2015 / 9:11 PM / 2 years ago

Exclusive: Cablevision to drop $1 bid for NY Daily News - source

Copies of the New York Daily News are displayed on a newsstand in New York's Times Square March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It was one dollar too much for Cablevision Systems Corp CVC.N. The cable company is planning to pull out of the auction process for the New York Daily News after spending hundreds of hours analyzing a potential deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Cablevision had bid just $1 for the tabloid newspaper in March, Reuters reported at the time. It is now planning to bow out ahead of a second-round bid deadline next week, the source said on Tuesday, asking not to be named because the process is confidential.

Cablevision, which owns the Long Island, N.Y.-based newspaper Newsday, could not justify paying even $1 for New York Daily News because of its poor financial condition and prospects, the person said. Even if Cablevision bought the newspaper’s state-of-the-art printing press, it would have still lost money on the deal, the source said.

In February, New York media and real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman said he was considering selling the newspaper and had hired Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N) to assist with the process.

Other bidders still around the process include Jimmy Finkelstein, owner of the Washington newspaper “The Hill,” John Catsimatidis and an unnamed real estate mogul, according to a separate source familiar with the matter.

Cablevision declined to comment while a representative for the New York Daily News could not immediately be reached for a comment. Finkelstein and Catsimatidis representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

New York Daily News is currently losing $30 million a year sources previously told Reuters. Its declining circulation relies heavily on newsstand sales rather than on subscriptions.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Diane Craft

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