Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is not planning to raise its $580m bid for Newsday, according to a person close to the company, a stance that would appear to give Cablevision an edge in the competition for the Long Island tabloid.

Cablevision on Friday submitted a $650m bid to the Tribune Company, the newspaper’s owner.

The long-rumoured bid swung the focus to News Corp and its chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, who had been considered the leading contender to snatch Newsday.

However, a person close to News Corp said on Friday that the company would not raise its offer. News Corp declined to comment.

It was not clear whether Mr Murdoch’s stance represented a negotiating tactic or a final position.

Mr Murdoch wants to merge Newsday’s back-office operations with his New York Post, which loses about $50m a year.

Some media analysts have questioned his eagerness to commit more of News Corp’s capital to the beleaguered newspaper industry just months after closing a $5bn deal for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal.

Newsday is also being pursued by another mogul, Mortimer Zuckerman, owner of the rival Daily News. Mr Zuckerman, who could not be reached for comment, last week matched the News Corp bid, betting that his offer would be more attractive because it would entail less regulatory risk.

News Corp executives argue that the regulatory hurdles they face have been overstated.

Meanwhile, people close to Tribune said the company’s chief executive, Sam Zell, was inclined to favour Mr Murdoch at a time when the relationship between the two media companies and their leaders appears to be growing.

Cablevision’s bid means that Mr Zell will have to balance his fondness for Mr Murdoch against the urgent need to reduce Tribune’s heavy debt load. The company, which he took private in an $8.2bn buyout in December, is facing $1.85bn in payments this year and next.

Those obligations have become increasingly weighty at a time when Tribune’s newspapers, which include the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, are seeing their revenues decline as readers migrate to the internet and the economy slows.

Additional reporting by Julie MacIntosh in New York

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