Newsweek editor Jon Meacham says he’s spent all day fending off calls from billionaires who want to buy Newsweek. So we’ll save Jon a few minutes and just submit our bid in writing.
Now, we haven’t seen Newsweek’s numbers yet, so it’s hard to say how much our FINAL bid will be.
But we’re happy to start with a placeholder bid of $1.
Yes, that probably sounds startling. But if Newsweek’s finances look anything like BusinessWeek’s, our FINAL bid may actually have to be a lot lower than that.
Remember, the second-best bid for BusinessWeek, made by a company that doesn’t have billions of dollars of cash flow with which to absorb losses, was said to be -$25 million (negative $25 million). Which is a lot less than $1.
Why was the second-best bid for BusinessWeek -$25 million?
Because it turns out that huge famous publications often come with all sorts of legacy costs and liabilities (rent, pensions, severance, prepaid subscriptions, contracts, etc.) that end up costing way more than the publication is worth. And that may well be the case with Newsweek.
So we’ll start at $1. And if we need to lower our bid later, we’ll do that.
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