Press: A Search for Glitz

The house of Newhouse pursues a winning formula with toughness -- and a revolving door

Samuel I. Newhouse, builder of America's biggest privately held media empire, operated by a few simple rules. First, he exerted no influence on the politics or ideology of his 31 newspapers and seven magazines. Second, he expected the papers' coverage and management outlook to remain resolutely local, so he never superimposed a high-powered team of overseers. Instead, he relied on his own bulging briefcase and the loyalty of his clan: several dozen relatives held jobs on the payroll. Third, Newhouse ardently avoided publicity and, above all, controversy. He kept so low a profile that he could walk unrecognized through his own...

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