Philadelphia Inquirer Sold Following Bitter Power Struggle

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 05:59 PM

 

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A struggle for control of the Philadelphia Inquirer ended Tuesday when two members of a feuding consortium prevailed at an auction with an $88 million bid, the newspaper announced.

The winning bid came from businessman Lewis Katz and philanthropist H.G. Lenfest, ending a struggle with the other investors of Interstate General Media Holdings, which bought the daily in 2012 for $55 million.

The pair outbid the other investors, George Norcross, Joseph Buckelew and William Hankowsky at a private auction.

The deal ends a battle which saw an ugly wrestling match for control of the newsroom, and the firing of editor William Marimow with the support of Norcross and later reinstatement by a court decision.

The announcement brought applause in the newsroom of one of the nation's most prominent dailies, whose value plummeted after being sold in 2006 for over $500 million.

The new owners will get the Inquirer and its sister Daily News, philly.com and other assets.

"We feel very fortunate we were able to prevail in the auction," Lenfest said, according to the newspaper.

"We feel we want to return The Inquirer to the great newspaper it has been for... many years."

Lenfest will serve as interim publisher until a permanent one is found.

The Philadelphia newspaper company employs some 1,800 people, and was bought and sold twice in 2006, and went into bankruptcy in 2009.

 

© AFP 2014

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