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Harman's 'undisruptive' bid for Newsweek appeals to owners

Bidding favourite promises to take on magazine's 'considerable financial liabilities'

Sidney Harman's bid for Newsweek, promising to be as undisruptive as possible to the magazine's editorial direction and staff-roll, holds greater appeal to the title's owner, the Washington Post Company, reports The New York Times.

Harman proposes to retain 250 jobs and compensate the Post in exchange for taking on Newsweek's considerable financial liabilities, says the report citing a source briefed on the bid.

The report comes amid news that the Post has expressed concern over another bidder, Avenue Capital, employing American Media (AMI) - in which Avenue holds a stake - to handle advertising and other back-office functions.

The Post said it wasn't satisfied with Avenue's explanation that the hedge fund group would not let AMI, publisher of National Enquirer and several celebrity-gossip titles, influence Newsweek's editorial.

The owner has also been uneasy with the possibility that the third bidder, Fred Drasner, a former co-publisher of the New York Daily News, would cut too many jobs at the news magazine.

Newsweek, which lost $28m last year, was put up for sale earlier this year as the Post could no longer run it profitably.