August 2, 2010 5:18 PM
Covington, Williams & Connolly on Newsweek Sale
Posted by Zach Lowe
Well, it finally happened: The Washington Post Co. managed to shove Newsweek, its legendary but money-losing weekly magazine, into the hands of 91-year-old stereo technology pioneer Sidney Harman. The price? No one is saying officially, but reports peg it at $1 and an agreement by Harman to take on Newsweek's existing debts, according to The New York Times.
Williams & Connolly advised Harman on the deal. Partners Robert Barnett, Jerry Shulman, and Philip Ward led the firm's team on the deal. They could not immediately be reached for comment. As we've reported before, Covington & Burling advised WaPo on the deal. Michael Cutler was the lead partner on the matter, working with associates Jonas Marson, Edward Tsai, and Vishnu Shankar. Cutler did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Others from Covington working on the deal: partner Michael Francese and associate Katherine Mineka advised on employment matters; special counsel Kristina Rosette provided IP advice; partner Rob Heller and associate Rucia Pei advised on the tax issues; and partner James O’Connell was antitrust counsel.
The deal ends a fairly quick process in which Donald Graham, chairman of the Washington Post Company, steered Newsweek away from buyers who might turn the magazine's editorial bent far to the right or shed much of the staff, according to the NYT and the Washington Post. Harman, who is married to Jane Harman, a congresswoman from California, has promised to retain a majority of Newsweek's employees, the NYT reports.
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