Fortune magazine is reporting that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The identity of the newspaper's new owner has created quite a stir both locally and nationally among journalists and media watchdogs over the last few days. The timing of the deal and the purchase price led to much speculation on social media and even a presidential candidate weighed in.
Just finished hour+ @reviewjournal ed board. Only q left unanswered - who owns the newspaper?
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 14, 2015
Shortly after Bush sent out his tweet, more than a dozen reporters at the newspaper simultaneously tweeted a link to the Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics, part of which calls on journalists to be accountable and transparent, and to "abide by the same high standards they expect of others."
— Colton Lochhead (@ColtonLochhead) December 14, 2015
— Howard Stutz (@howardstutz) December 15, 2015
Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada's First District also gave a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday morning addressing the new ownership of the newspaper. She called upon the newspaper’s new owners to “take off their masks and prove they have nothing to hide” and applauded the staff for protesting the lack of transparency regarding last week’s $140-million sale of the publication.
The newspaper and its sister publications were purchased by the recently incorporated News + Media Group LLC for $140 million, which is a markup of about 37 percent more than what it was sold for earlier this year.
Speculation that Adelson, who is the chairman and CEO of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp., might be the new owner started almost immediately. The Review-Journal itself ran a front-page story on Tuesday morning about Adelson's connections to Connecticut publisher Michael Schroeder, who was the only person listed on regulatory filings related to the sale.
Newspaper officials have not identified the people behind the company. In addition, Schroeder refused to comment on the new owner to Fortune on Tuesday.
Also, Adelson told CNN Money on Tuesday night after the debate that he has "no personal interest" in the newspaper.
Fortune says that it remains unclear why Adelson would purchase the newspaper. However, it could be related to politics. Adelson and his hotel hosted Tuesday night's GOP debate in Las Vegas.