NEW YORK TIME: On Monday, New York Magazine will host its annual awards luncheon, but Mort Zuckerman and his band of merry men may get the ultimate one — the magazine itself. With bids due on Thursday, the odds favored the Zuckerman-led consortium though sources strongly cautioned against counting out American Media’s David Pecker. One source familiar with the sale said of Zuckerman buying the title, “It’s not a done deal by any means, but it’s getting close.” The Zuckerman group was organized with the help of the magazine’s media columnist, Michael Wolff, and is believed to include the moguls Donny Deutsch and Nelson Peltz. One or two of the names on the list may have changed in the final hours, a source said, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, given how many egos were involved, from Harvey Weinstein to Jeffrey Epstein. Meanwhile, Tribune Co. all but admitted it is out of the running. “My experience is that it will go for much higher than we are willing to pay,” said Tribune chief executive officer Dennis Fitzsimmons. However, sources said the bidding is likely to come in at less than $60 million — well below the $100 million New York’s owner Primedia initially had hoped for. A timeline is not exactly clear, but with Zuckerman’s bid said by several sources to be in on time, the whole thing could move to exclusive negotiations with a winner within the next few days.

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