Sidney Harmon Would Keep Existing Newsweek Staff, Jon Meacham

Newsweek America's Back

Sidney Harmon, the former stereo equipment mogul, may have the inside track on buying Newsweek because The Washington Post Co., which has owned the magazine since the 1960s, is encouraged by his pledge to not gut the existing staff and potentially keep Jon Meacham as editor-in-chief, Keith Kelly reports.

Kelly also writes that Harmon “has had a huge philanthropic mission in recent years.”

That sounds like a much different approach than what we hear about competing suitor Fred Drasner, Mort Zuckerman’s former partner in U.S. News & World Report and the New York Daily News. As we reported last week, a source who’s worked closely with Drasner in the past told us:

“He’s gonna be tough … If you’re asking if he’s going to care about the feelings of the journalists and maintaining a huge editorial infrastructure, the answer is no.”

Another tidbit from Kelly’s report:

One man apparently not involved is Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who has a big stake of New York Times Company stock and was at various times said to be look ing at Newsweek. Arturo Elias Ayub, a spokesman for Slim, “denies absolutely any interest in bidding [for] Newsweek.”

“At the end of the day, I think they’d want to sell it to an American firm,” said one source.

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