LOS ANGELES — The editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal is leaving Nevada’s biggest newspaper after its purchase by billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson and his family.
Michael Hengel led the newspaper through an unusual turn of events this month as its reporters identified Adelson as its mystery buyer and wrote about an odd assignment to tail the judge in a court case involving Adelson, the 82-year-old founder of the world’s biggest casino company, Las Vegas Sands Corp. The editor accepted a buyout offer, the new owners said in an e-mailed statement.
Adelson acknowledged last week that he bought the newspaper through an intermediary. That ended speculation about the identity of the unknown entity that paid $140 million for the Review-Journal. He said in a statement then that he intended to disclose his ownership but didn’t want to distract from Republican presidential debates taking place in Nevada.
In the statement on Tuesday, Adelson pledged to invest in the Review-Journal, and publish a “fair, unbiased and accurate” newspaper. “We regard ourselves as stewards of this essential community institution, and we promise that the Review-Journal will serve the people of Las Vegas for many years to come,” the statement read.
The new owners will begin a search for Hengel’s replacement, they said.
Reporters at the Review-Journal posted reactions of surprise and disappointment on Twitter after Hengel addressed the newsroom.
“Announcement from newsroom in Las Vegas makes my stomach hurt,” wrote Howard Stutz, who has covered the casino industry including Sands for many years.