Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Society Of Professional Journalists Calls On New Owners of Las Vegas Review-Journal To Reveal Their Identity

Following up on Saturday's "Unidentified buyer paid $140 million for Las Vegas Review-Journal", this is one weird story.
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dec. 15:

Pressure to go public grows for new Review-Journal owners
One of the country's largest and oldest journalism organizations has joined a growing chorus of reporters, readers and media watchdogs calling on the Las Vegas Review-Journal's new owners to reveal themselves.

The Society of Professional Journalists — a 7,500-member advocacy group that promotes First Amendment and media ethics causes — said in a statement Tuesday there was "no excuse" for the newspaper's owners to hide their identities.

The statement came less than a week after the Review-Journal was purchased by News + Media Capital Group LLC — a newly formed, Delaware-domiciled company backed by "undisclosed financial backers with expertise in the media industry."

News + Media manager Michael Schroeder has declined to disclose the company's investors, as has Review-Journal Publisher Jason Taylor. Michael Reed, CEO of GateHouse Media, the newspaper's former owners, did not respond to questions about the sale in a Monday email.

National Public Radio media reporter David Folkenflik on Tuesday tweeted a quote, attributed to Reed, likening News + Media's anonymous investors to those behind other major media companies and adding "the journalists in those companies don't seem to be undermined."

News + Media paid $140 million for the newspaper and its sister publications, around $38 million more than New Media Investment Group paid in March for all of Stephens Media LLC, a national chain of eight daily newspapers that included the Review-Journal. As a Delaware limited liability corporation, News + Media is not required to list its owners in any public document.

The inflated purchase price has fueled speculation and denials surrounding the newspaper's new owners, much of which has centered around Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN and a half-dozen online media outlets have speculated about Adelson's involvement. Adelson, a mega-donor to GOP candidates and causes, has declined comment to all.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in Washington Tuesday told reporters he suspects — but has no evidence — that Adelson is the secretive buyer....MORE