Raymond Perelman ‘dismayed’ he was ‘excluded’ from bidding on Philly papers

Associated Press | Inquirer | Daily News
Raymond Perelman, who bid two years ago to purchase the Philadelphia daily newspapers, says he was “excluded” from the sale process currently under way, according to information obtained by the Associated Press, which reports:

Perelman urged the company, Philadelphia Media Network, to conduct a fair and open sale of its assets. He said in a letter to the company’s board he was “dismayed” to learn he and others were excluded from the process.

He sent the letter Wednesday, a day after a journalists’ union, the Newspaper Guild, met with managers of the newspapers’ owner to complain that two stories this week about another potential bidder, developer Bart Blatstein, had been censored.

“Nothing is more important to me than continuing the strong tradition of journalistic integrity in our local papers and making sure the Inquirer and Daily News are preserved for the people for generations to come,” Perelman said in his letter, which The Associated Press obtained Thursday.

Perelman told Daily News reporter David Gambacorta, “This whole thing is very weird … I’m not a quitter, but there’s nothing else we can do. You can’t make a guy do something that he doesn’t want to.”

Perelman expressed interest in the papers last week, when it was also revealed that former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was leading a group that hoped to buy the Inquirer and Daily News. The Inquirer reported earlier this week that the deadline to submit letters of interest for the papers was last Thursday, the day before Rendell’s interest was made public. It appears Rendell’s group may have been the only one able to formally enter the bidding process. The AP reports that “Perelman was told the bidding is closed and was denied the customary chance to review the company’s financial books.”

Coverage of the sale in the Philadelphia papers has been incomplete at best, censored by current leadership, which has been directly or indirectly responsible for killing three stories about a change in ownership.

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