Patrick Dolan becomes majority owner of Newsday Media
News 12 Networks President Patrick Dolan is buying a majority stake in the Newsday Media Group from Altice USA, officials said Thursday.
An entity led by Dolan will own 75 percent of Newsday Media, which includes Newsday, amNewYork, the Hometown Shopper papers and related websites and mobile apps. Altice will retain a 25 percent stake, the officials said.
Dolan's father, Charles, a cable television pioneer, is also investing and will have a small financial interest in Newsday Media.
Patrick Dolan, a broadcast journalist and executive, will become president of Newsday Media and continue to lead News 12.
The announcement comes two weeks after Netherlands-based telecom giant Altice N.V. completed its purchase of Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corp. for $17.7 billion. Cablevision had owned Newsday Media since 2008. Altice consolidated its New York and Missouri operations into Altice USA in June.
"My father and I, together with our Altice partners, are deeply committed to preserving the state-of-the-art journalism that Newsday has consistently provided and that has served Long Islanders so well," Patrick Dolan said.
He said that Newsday and News 12 would continue to collaborate on projects of interest to Long Islanders.
Charles Dolan, who also will serve on a new board of directors of Newsday Media, said, "This arrangement opens the door to greater opportunities to connect readers to what matters to them and to continue the company's legacy of best-in-class local journalism."
Cablevision, under the direction of Charles Dolan and his family, purchased Newsday Media from Tribune Co. for $650 million. Cablevision then invested in printing equipment, expanded the paper's web site and mobile apps, and added resources to strengthen Long Island coverage.
Altice USA chairman and CEO Dexter Goei praised the Dolan family, saying the company is "thrilled to be their partner as we drive the continued development of Newsday Media Group."
Customers of Altice USA's broadband service, Optimum Online, will continue to have access to newsday.com and Newsday's mobile apps, according to the agreement announced Thursday.
Patrick Dolan said in a letter to Newsday Media employees that day-to-day operations would continue to be led by Ed Bushey, senior vice president/general manager, and Debby Krenek, senior vice president/digital and editorial director.
Bushey and Krenek assumed the responsibilities of Newsday Media publisher Gordon McLeod after he stepped down for personal reasons, effective July 2. He had been publisher since March 2014.
In the letter, Dolan said he was proud of Newsday's 75-year history, including its 19 Pulitzer Prizes. His own journalism has garnered national and local awards, including New York Emmy Awards and honors from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).
Dolan told Newsday employees, "This is a paper where good, honest, smart, relentless reporting has always counted and always will. It's the kind of reporting that changes things for the better."