Monday December 14,2015 : REALLY? IS SHELDON ADELSON THE NEW OWNER OF THE LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL? (Update)
Speculation that virulently anti-online gambling land casino mogul is behind the recent acquisition of the distinguished Journal.
Spicing up the weekend was a speculative report in the Huffington Post claiming that Las Vegas Sands billionaire owner Sheldon Adelson – renowned for his fanatical opposition to online gambling – may be the power and the money behind the recent acquisition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and its sister publications.
The sale of the highly respected publication was announced last week (see previous InfoPowa report), although the identity of those behind new owners News + Media Capital Group LLC was not disclosed.
On Friday the new owners (described by some sources as financiers with media experience) revealed that the consideration paid was $140 million, but the identity of the investors remained a mystery.
The Huffington Post notes that it is unusual for newspaper owners to remain secretive, and that journalists are puzzled by the apparent reticence of the investors, encouraging speculation.
Much of that speculation is that this is a move by Adelson, who can certainly spare $140 million from his vast personal fortune. The rumour was fuelled by a lack of response from Adelson's company when reporters tried to check on its veracity.
The Post comments that one of the dangers of a concealed ownership is that it could lead to Review-Journal reporters "…unknowingly wading into conflicts of interest if covering businesses owned by the undisclosed backers."
The newspaper additionally observes that such a lack of disclosure appears hypocritical given newspapers' traditional role of seeking transparency from others….and it notes that the Journal's own reporters have expressed outrage at the embarrassment.
Attempts to obtain clarity on the issue may have been disrupted by the weekend, but a response from either an Adelson spokesperson or his company will certainly be expected as the new week commences.