Las Vegas Review-Journal Reports the Identity of the Paper’s New Owner (UPDATED)
(MAJOR UPDATE BELOW) One of the most fascinating media stories in recent memory has been the mystery surrounding who owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It was purchased by undisclosed owners for $140 million last week, and their identity was a mystery to even the paper’s own staffers.
Naturally, these staffers for a news organization wanted to be transparent about their ownership, so they mass-tweeted the Society of Professional Journalists’ Ethics Code in protest:
Las Vegas Review-Journal staffers mass-tweeting SPJ's code of ethics over secret owner: https://t.co/qHXk32osXW pic.twitter.com/SFVy3Pzy20
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) December 14, 2015
The Review-Journal ran a report yesterday about mounting public pressure to reveal who its owners are.
There’s been speculation that the paper was bought by casino magnate and billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, and that speculation got a big boost today with a Fortune report that yes, Adelson is the new mystery owner. They cite sources close to the deal but don’t really have an answer as to why Adelson has been quiet about it.
CNN’s Brian Stelter interviewed Adelson yesterday, before the Fortune report, as he was in attendance at the CNN Republican debate. This is what happened:
He repeatedly said “no,” saying at one point, “I have no personal interest,” which made me wonder if he was leaving some wiggle room in his answer. Could he be involved through intermediaries?
As we spoke, he acknowledged with amusement that his name has been bandied about.
“Everyone thinks it’s either me or Steve Wynn,” Adelson said.
So is it his rival casino owner Wynn? “It could be,” he said.
And so the mystery continues.
UPDATE –– 10:40 pm EST: Mystery solved. The Review-Journal revealed tonight that Adelson is the new owner, but he didn’t orchestrate the sale. His son-in-law did:
Patrick Dumont, who is listed on the website of Las Vegas Sands Corp. as the company’s senior vice president of finance and strategy, put together the deal at the behest of his father-in-law, the chairman and CEO of the casino operator.
Dumont, a 41-year-old attorney from New York, in 2009 married Sivan Ochshorn, a daughter of Adelson’s wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, from a prior marriage. Sivan Ochshorn Dumont is listed as owner/agent of Israel Hayom, which is owned by the casino mogul.
“He (Dumont) handles all the investments for the family,” said a source close to the Adelsons who was not authorized to speak on behalf of the family.
[image via Wikimedia Commons]
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