Magnate goes to press

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The Independent Online
A DAILY newspaper is to be launched in the US on 15 September, the first for several years, aimed exclusively at the financial community.

Entitled The Daily Deal, the five-day-a-week paper is the latest addition to the stable of publishing company American Lawyer Media Inc, owned by the high-rolling deal maker Bruce Wasserstein. In the 1980s, Mr Wasserstein was a prime player in Wall Street, taking a lead role in deals like Time's $13.4bn (pounds 8.7bn) acquisition of Warner.

The newspaper, which will be launched simultaneously with a web-site of the same name, will be available across the US and in the City of London. It will have around 40 journalists working from its New York offices and about the same number scattered across the globe. It is aiming for an initial readership of 25,000.

"We will focus on any financial transaction that generates huge fees and attracts a crowd of advisers," said the newspaper's editor-in-chief Bob Teitelman, formerly the editor of Institutional Investor. The paper will concentrate on mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals, venture capital and initial public offerings. Last year, the total value of mergers in the US was $1,600bn.

"We are not a business paper in the broader sense, but we would also hope to be something more than just a trade paper," said Mr Teitelman. The new publication is nevertheless likely to present a challenge to the existing financial press such as The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. The FT is on the defensive amid speculation that its top New York reporter, William Lewis, is going to leave to set up his own internet venture.

"We are not going to drive The Wall Street Journal into the ground in any way, but we hope to compete with them editorially," said Mr Teitelman. He rebuffed suggestions that newspapers had now become a thing of the past.

"For the crowd you still have to deliver papers. We aim to grab 10 to 15 minutes of readers' time in the mornings. They still want a newspaper, although that may not be the case in the next five or 10 years," he said.

Despite its prominent owner, who is also the chief executive of the corporate finance house Wasserstein and Perella, Mr Teitelman is adamant the newspaper will maintain its editorial independence.

"We are fairly strong about the whole issue of church and state here," he said. "Obviously he [Wasserstein] is the boss at some level, but he won't have a role in the newsroom."

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