Who Is The Other Modern Luxury Bidder?

We should have some word on the Modern Luxury Media auction soon. In the meantime, I’ve been given a clue as to the other bidder involved in the process.

I’m told that the second party is a radio owner that has some publishing assets. At first blush, I immediately thought of Jeffrey Smulyan, chairman and CEO of Emmis Communications Corp. His Indianapolis-based company has radio stations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as Bulgaria. EMMIS has owned magazines since 1988 with a portfolio that currently includes Indianapolis Monthly, Los Angeles Magazine and Country Sampler.

However, EMMIS’s magazines follow a traditional subscription base circulation model while Modern Luxury’s uses a controlled circulation model. One banker says it doesn’t make sense that EMMIS would buy Modern Luxury. “That would be a strange place for EMMIS to put its money,” the source says.

We’ve hit a block. Does anyone have any ideas who the mystery party might be?

But we still think Greenspun Corp. will win the auction. Last week, peHUB reported that there were two parties vying for Modern Luxury. Greenspun, which owns Modern Luxury’s arch rival Niche Media, is in the lead. Greenspun Media Group owns various media holdings including the daily newspaper Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Magazine (LVM), as well as a stake in the Tribune Co. In 2006, Greenspun acquired Niche Media, which publishes regional magazines — like Gotham, Hamptons and Ocean Drive—that directly compete against Modern Luxury.

Calls to EMMIS weren’t returned.