Auditing the Grand Acquisitor

A $914 million tax suit sheds new light on the Newhouse empire

No American newspaper publisher was more acquisitive, or more secretive about his business affairs, than Samuel Irving Newhouse. By the time of his death in 1979, at the age of 84, Newhouse had amassed a nationwide communications empire that included not only newspapers but magazines, radio and television stations, printing companies and delivery services. His 31 daily newspapers had a total readership of more than 3 million, making them the third largest U.S. chain after Gannett and Knight-Ridder. But the value of...

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