Monday, May 27, 2024 May 27, 2024
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When Will Miriam Adelson Buy the Dallas Morning News?

She can get it for pennies, compared to the price her family paid for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The new owner of the Dallas Mavericks is also a media mogul.

Let me start by saying that this post is purely speculative. I have no actual knowledge about anything, anywhere, anytime concerning the Dallas Morning News and the new majority owners of the Dallas Mavericks. This is just me musing out loud. That said, mark your calendars. When Miriam Adelson and her family buy our daily newspaper, that notion will have been publicly floated here first. You’re welcome.

Some history: in 2007, Miriam Adelson’s husband, Sheldon, founded Israel Hayom, the largest-circulation newspaper in that country. Sheldon died in 2021. Miriam remains the paper’s publisher. I haven’t read the paper, but it’s not difficult to find criticism of its gentle coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In 2015, the Adelson family bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal for $140 million, which seemed like a steep sum at the time. Again, follow that link. You’ll see that lots of folks had problems with a major casino operator also owning the largest newspaper in Nevada, including the folks who resigned from the paper after the Adelson family bought it. It’s easy to understand that the paper’s coverage of the Adelson family’s business interests has not been—um—overly critical.

Which brings us to Dallas and our own newspaper. I don’t want to bog down in the various classes of shares owned by the founding families and the rest of it, but DallasNews Corp, the parent company that owns the Morning News, has a market capitalization, as of this writing, of $23.39 million. To put that number in perspective, the Adelson group just bought some land from Mark Cuban worth about $42 million. And I broke the story last month that the casino people bought 108 acres in Irving that are on the tax rolls for $22.5 million.

You see where I’m headed? Forbes says that Miriam Adelson and her family have a net worth of about $33 billion. Name your premium for the News. Double? Hell, that’s easy. The Adelson group can pay $50 million for the paper and not even blink. In fact, they’d be dumb not to buy the paper, even for $75 million.

The Mavs play the Trail Blazers tonight at home at 7:30. I’ll be watching.

Update (1:51 p.m.) Forgive me for this bit of melodrama, but I’ve thought about this some more and feel the need to stress harder how big this sale is. Mark Cuban was our billionaire. He saved the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Could he have bought the newspaper? Sure. But Cuban lives here and conducts his business accordingly. His kids go to school here. If Cuban does something dumb and goes to an event at St. Mark’s, he’s likely to get ribbed by a fellow wealthy person—or even just a person whose kid is in the same grade. The Adelson family? “Wealthy” doesn’t get it done, and they obviously don’t live here.

I don’t think people understand the difference between Cuban’s money and the Adelsons’. Between Cuban’s disposition and the Adelsons’. This Mavericks story isn’t just about the team changing hands. It’s about politics and democracy and information and culture. Jerry Jones? Tom Gaglardi? The Adelson group plays in a different arena.


Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…