The New York Review of Magazines

Will Billionaire Haim Saban Buy Newsweek?

By Ali Gharib

As a NYRM blog post earlier today noted, the Washington Post Company put the fledgling weekly magazine Newsweek on the block yesterday.

It appears a simple matter of coincidental timing that one prospective buyer was almost simultaneously outed by The New Yorker this week. Israeli-American billionaire and influence monger Haim Saban is always looking to pick up influential media properties to push his agenda. From Connie Bruck’s profile of Saban in this week’s New Yorker (my emphasis):

He remains keenly interested in the world of business, but he is most proud of his role as political power broker. His greatest concern, he says, is to protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship. At a conference last fall in Israel, Saban described his formula. His “three ways to be influential in American politics,” he said, were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets. […] He considered buying The New Republic, but decided it wasn’t for him. He also tried to buy Time and Newsweek, but neither was available. He and his private-equity partners acquired Univision in 2007, and he has made repeated bids for the Los Angeles Times.

Well, Haim, it’s available now!

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