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Big News Day

There are plenty of newspaper companies that have bought into the cable business through the years, like Cox Enterprises, Post Newsweek, Advance/Newhouse, Times Mirror, Scripps Howard, and Media General. (The latter three sold their cable system holdings to Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Cox Communications Inc. )

With Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) scooping up Newsday Media Group for $650 million, now we have a cable MSO buying a newspaper. (See Cablevision to Buy Newsday.) That's news!

You can talk about content, marketing, and advertising synergies among Cablevision and Newsday on Long Island all you like. A the end of the day, the motivation for this deal was far simpler. In essence, the Dolans were sending a smack-down message to the Murdochs: "You wanna piece of our Island? Don't even think about it!"

Having gobbled up the New York Daily News and Dow Jones, Rupert's News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) was seeking a Big Apple trifecta with Newsday. In the wake of this defeat at the hands of the Dolans, there is no evidence yet that Murdoch's Gotham ambitions may morph into a run at the Manhattan-based Light Reading publishing empire.

— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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