Paper Tiger

A maverick gets the Observer

Britons were horrified last month when Rupert Murdoch, the sensation-mongering Australian publisher, bought London's revered though unprofitable Times newspapers. Now another Fleet Street stalwart, the 190-year-old Sunday Observer, has been sold to an improbable new owner. He is Roland ("Tiny") Rowland, the chief executive of a $5 billion. London-based conglomerate called Lonrho Ltd.; his secretiveness and taste for takeovers have led him to be described by a former Prime Minister as "the unacceptable face of capitalism."

The trendy, left-of-center Observer had been in danger of failing until it...

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