Now he is abroad for a big comeback in the news business.
The Telegraph went up for auction this year because its owners, the Barclay family, had not paid off debts. Sometimes called The Torygraph for its influence on British conservative politics, the newspaper attracted powerful supporters such as Rupert Murdoch and Lord Rothermere, owner of London’s Daily Mail.
The auction was halted on Tuesday after Mr. Dhabi-based investment fund. Following a number of financial moves, Redbird IMI will take over ownership and management of The Telegraph and The Spectator. Redbird IMI said its Emirati partner will be a passive investor.
Mr. Zucker declined to comment, citing pending negotiations. But his vision for The Telegraph includes possible expansion into the United States, where Mr. Zucker believes a market has emerged for a center-right news publication, a person familiar with his thinking said. requested anonymity because the deal had not closed. ,
Mr. Zucker has no plans to oversee day-to-day news coverage, the person said. Instead, he will focus on The Telegraph’s business strategy and building its presence overseas; He will not be relocating to London. Still, Mr. Zucker has a reputation as a hands-on manager, having been in his 20s when he ran NBC’s “Today” show; He later became chief executive of NBCUniversal before being fired in 2011.
The deal could still fall through, and regulatory hurdles await.
Redbird IMI is a joint venture between private-equity firm Redbird Capital and a private investment fund run by Emirati royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The involvement of Middle Eastern interests has raised concerns among Members of Parliament about foreign influence on the British media. In a letter to regulators, six Conservative Party politicians warned that Redbird IMI’s proposal “represents a potential threat to freedom of the press in this country.” Any deal could trigger further government investigations.