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Sheldon Adelson Now Owns The Las Vegas Review-Journal. But why?

Las Vegas Sands Corporation

The owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was revealed Wednesday as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. The news came after widespread complaints about the paper's lack of transparency in not initially disclosing its ownership.

Adelson bought the organization for $140 million as print media revenue and circulation continue to decline, but why?

David Folkenflik, NPR's Media Correspondent, talked to our public radio partner KNPRin Las Vegas, noting that the purchase wasn't about turning a profit.

"I think he wanted to own the most important paper in the city and the state where he has so much financial interest and so much political influence," Folkenflik said.

In a statement, Adelson said that he delayed announcing his ownership because of the Republican presidential debate on Tuesday.

"He didn't want to reveal his involvement and the family's involvement because they didn't want to overshadow the Republican debates," Folkenflik explained. "Well, that's because of his partisan, political interest and a principled newspaper should not withhold information from the public simply to advance interests."

According to Folkenflik, media outlets should mirror the transparency they expect from their own interview subjects.

This story was produced with information from a recent interview produced by our public radio partner KNPR.


Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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