Cablevision Systems Corp. is poised to make an offer to buy the New York Daily News in a deal that would value the tabloid at $1, according to reports.
The move would put the Bethpage company in competition with grocery-store chain owner John Catsimatidis, who has already made an offer to buy the Daily News, owned by real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman.
Buying the paper would expand Cablevision's news division, which includes Newsday, amNew York and News 12. The reported price tag underscores the newspaper industry's economic challenges and particularly the beleaguered finances of the 96-year-old Daily News, which is among America's largest newspapers by circulation.
Representatives from Cablevision and the Daily News declined to comment. A representative of Lazard Ltd., which was hired by Zuckerman to assist in the sale of the paper, declined to comment.
Cablevision's $1 offer was reported earlier by Reuters, citing an unnamed source.
Catsimatidis, who owns the Gristedes grocery-store chain, submitted his bid last week, his spokesman said. He declined to say how much he offered.
Zuckerman announced a month ago he was considering selling the newspaper, which he bought out of bankruptcy for $36 million in 1993.
Cablevision's bid takes into account the Daily News' reported $30 million annual loss and $150 million investment in a printing plant, according to Reuters. Reuters didn't say whether the deal would include absorbing the Daily News' debt.
In 2008, Cablevision paid $650 million to acquire Newsday and amNew York, a free tabloid that circulates in the five boroughs.