Newsmax Owner Means Business With Newsweek Bid; Wants Isikoff Back

It looks like the owner of Newsmax, the conservative outlet among the potential buyers of Newsweek, means business. In an interview with Business Insider, Christopher Ruddy said he could make the weekly profitable in eighteen months and vowed again not to put any ideological spin on its reporting.

He also said he would like to hire back Michael Isikoff, the Newsweek staffer who is leaving for NBC and told me days ago that Newsmax would not be his “preferred” buyer of Newsweek. “I'd probably call Isikoff and say, 'If you're not happy at NBC, you're welcome back,'” Ruddy told BI.

He also added: “I think if people can realize that if somehow I could become friendly with Bill Clinton after all my reporting and criticism of him, then I'm open and broad enough to have a liberal publication that's part of Newsmax.” “I'm not Rupert Murdoch,” Ruddy added. “When he comes in, he's a powerful presence. He's gonna put his editorial stamp on. I have Newsmax to express my point of view if I want to.”

“As far as strategy goes, Ruddy said he could make Newsweek 'cash flow positive and profitable' in 18 months, in part by 'developing specialized information products ... on foreign news, financial news, health news.' Also: 'My feeling is there's a large amount of corporate overhead not related to editorial and that there would be room for cutting expenses.'"

We shall see.