It’s been a lousy week for Beverly Hills supermarket magnate Ron Burkle (pictured), who doesn’t have much affection for the press but would certainly like to own a newspaper or two. First, McClatchy Co. didn’t even consider Burkle’s bid for the Mercury News and other Knight Ridder newspapers it was selling in California and instead handed them off to Dean Singleton. And now Burkle’s attempt to turn the tables on the New York Post’s gossip column Page Six has flopped as well — the columnist Burkle accused of extortion hasn’t been arrested, and, as Variety columnist Peter Bart points out, now everybody in the newspaper business wants to do a critical story about Ron Burkle. Bart writes, “I trust you’ve learned a lesson from all of this: Life is like a supermarket, Ron. In the end, everyone ends up facing that lady at the register. And your tab is going to be steep.” BTW, Burkle is still seeking the eight remaining KR papers up for sale including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. But unlike the Mercury News, there’s a lot more interest in those papers.
Supermarket magnate left holding the bag
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