Media Flash: Another 'Newsweek' Suitor, With Added Drama
There hasn't exactly been a stampede of buyers for Newsweek, so the news that Fred Drasner has made his interest known ought to gladden the hearts of anxious staffers who are wondering whether and in what form their 77-year-old magazine will survive. Not only does Drasner, a Washington, D.C. businessman, have actual publishing experience, unlike several of Newsweek's previously-announced suitors; he has even run, or at least co-run, a newsweekly: U.S. News & World Report, which he jointly owned with Mort Zuckerman until five years ago.
For Drasner to acquire Newsweek would put him back into competition with his erstwhile partner, but only sort of: U.S. Newsexited the field of weekly publication two years ago, although it has since experimented with a weekly digital edition. Now the title specializes in producing monthly reports on the best colleges, hospitals, cars and other products and institutions.
In addition to Drasner, parties known to be considering bids include conservative publisher Newsmax Media, private equity firm OpenGate Capital, stereo equipment mogul Sidney Harman and Thane Ritchie, who founded a money-management firm and has an interest in third-party politics.