Thursday, December 17, 2015

Last Call For Shelly's World

No surprise that the mystery buyer behind the recent purchase of Nevada's biggest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is none other than GOP megadonor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

The son-in-law of billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson arranged the $140 million purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Adelson's behalf, sources confirmed Wednesday.

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 from New York, in 2009 married Sivan Ochshorn, a daughter of Adelson's wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, from a prior marriage. Sivan Ochshorn Dumont runs the 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.

Another source familiar with the deal said Sheldon Adelson, 15th on the Forbes 400 List of Billionaires with a net worth of $24.5 billion, funded the transaction. Dumont helped create News + Media Capital Group LLC, which acquired the Review-Journal and several smaller Nevada newspapers last week from New Media Investment Corp.

A source said Dumont also led Adelson's previous attempt to acquire the Review-Journal from former owner Stephens Media LLC before the February sale to New Media Investment. He could not be reached for comment. Sivan Ochshorn Dumont, reached at the couple's Las Vegas home, hung up before answering a reporter's questions Wednesday.

Adelson, meanwhile, broke several days of silence on the newspaper purchase late Tuesday night, telling CNN media reporter Brian Stelter only that he has "no personal interest" in the RJ's new owner.

Fortune magazine on Wednesday cited "multiple sources familiar with the situation" in reporting Adelson was the newspaper's "primary buyer."

Michael Reed, CEO of New Media Investment Corp., did not respond to repeated calls for comment.

Nothing new with the richest people in America buying newspapers, after all Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought a far larger paper in the Washington Post, but Bezos was up front about it from day one, and answered questions about how the paper would treat his financial and corporate interests as part of the very public and well-covered sales process.  It hasn't been 100% smooth, but Bezos never attempted to hide or go through intermediaries, and he certainly isn't enmeshed in politics in the way Adelson is.

We'll see how this goes as far as affecting Nevada politics.

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