Articles about "Interstate General Media"


Reporter bails on media beat after 11 years covering Philly papers

Philadelphia
How dispiriting is the Philly media beat? When Joel Mathis asked Steve Volk what he's learned in 11 years of covering The Inquirer and the Daily News, Volk replied: "That I don’t want to cover the media anymore, at least not local media in Philly. It’s 11 years of watching the bridge of the Enterprise shake while the cast runs from one side of the screen of the other."
Sometimes the demands of narrative make you seem impervious to the human cost of what’s going on there. And I’m not impervious. These are sort of would-be friends and colleagues, you know what I mean? I’ve been constantly covering them losing their jobs and wondering what’s next. I’m tired of marching that same beat.

I think what I’ve learned is: Experimentation is really hard. I think what’s necessary more than ever in papers is to experiment and try things to see what’ll bring more readers, more eyes and more subscribers. I think it’s been hard for people to let go of what they know and try something new. So I think there’s been this paralysis of people trying to hang on to whatever reader base they might retain, a fear of change because it might involve slipping ever farther. I feel for them, but I feel what’s needed now is a spirit of experimentation, owners who get along and are willing to lose some money in the short term by trying to make money in the long term.
Philadelphia magazine published Volk's feature, "The Fight for the Future of Philadelphia’s Newspapers," on Jan. 30.
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Bill Marimow

Judge rules Marimow must get Inquirer job back

Associated Press | Philadelphia Inquirer | WCAU-TV | WHYY A Philadelphia judge has ruled that Philadelphia Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow should not have been fired. "Mr. Marimow is immediately reinstated as Editor of the Inquirer," Judge Patricia A. McInerney writes in an order issued Friday. The action comes amid a larger dispute among the paper's owners. Marimow was fired Oct. 7.
Marimow walking to court on Oct. 28, 2013 (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Next dispute in Inquirer lawsuit: Philly or Delaware

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Associated Press | WHYY
Judge Patricia A. McInerney of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas will listen to arguments next week about whether a lawsuit among the owners of Philadelphia's newspapers should be heard in Philadelphia or Delaware.

The lawsuit concerns the firing of former Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow, whose lawyer told reporters "some have chosen to smear." Among the attendees at the hearing was Dan Biddle, who the Associated Press reports "was among five veteran editors that [Publisher Robert] Hall wanted fired." Marimow reportedly refused to fire several employees whom Hall wanted gone. (more...)
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Philadelphia Newspapers Bankruptcy

The mess at Philadelphia’s newspapers: A timeline of recent events

The co-owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer, philly.com and the Daily News are giving their reporters lots to write about with a lawsuit in response to another lawsuit in response to a firing  -- OK. Wait. Let's just stop for a moment and take a look back in time at where this all began. October 8, 2010: Bill Marimow loses his job as editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The paper's owners told Marimow "he did not have the background in digital media necessary to lead the paper going forward," Christoper K. Hepp reports at the time. Stan Wischnowski is named acting editor. April 2, 2012: A group of local bigs buys the Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com. The new owners say they will "sign a pledge supporting the newsroom’s independence, after questions about interference arose over coverage of the sale," Poynter reports. April 4, 2012: Marimow is rehired as editor. Wischnowski takes a lesser role. New owner Lewis Katz tells Poynter he didn't think they needed a written pledge not to interfere: "Frankly, I thought a public statement was enough, but [fellow new owner] George [Norcross] felt stronger that it ought to be in writing.” Oct. 7, 2013: Marimow is fired. Wischnowski becomes acting editor. A source at the paper tells Poynter Marimow lost his job due to a "difference in philosophical vision in the direction of the paper." Among Publisher Bob Hall's knocks on Marimow: He didn't "support [the] company's digital strategy for Philly.com and Inquirer.com.". Oct. 10: Owners Katz and H.F. Lenfest file suit trying to bring Marimow back, claiming Hall wasn't authorized to fire Marimow. Oct. 14: "Philadelphia deserves better," David Carr writes of the owners' struggle for control. Oct. 15: The owners (except Katz, who was in the Bahamas) hold a special meeting agreeing to form a committee to defend the ownership group, Interstate General Media, and two special committee to investigate Katz's alleged interference with editorial matters and any alleged conflicts of interest on his part. (The actions are detailed in an action filed Oct. 18.) Oct. 16: The owners meet with officers from the Newspaper Guild. An Inquirer reporter is not allowed to attend. "One observer said it became apparent that neither owner would give in, short of 'complete annihilation' of the other," Thomas Fitzgerald reports. The Guild warns members to "BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY in email correspondence, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. ... especially with regard to comments about the present in-fighting and management/ownership personnel and your colleagues." Oct. 17: Norcross files a countersuit. Katz has "repeatedly violated" his pledge not to interfere with the newsroom, a press release announcing the action says. Oct. 18: Hall moves to dismiss Katz's suit. The filing says Marimow had a "stubborn and indeed often insubordinate refusal to follow directives or implement much-needed editorial, journalistic and personnel changes at The Inquirer, resulting in a significant decline in circulation and morale problems in the newsroom during his second troubled tenure as The Inquirer's Editor." Hall, associate publisher Michael Lorenca and co-owner Gerry Lenfest warned Marimow in July he'd be terminated if he didn't make some changes, Hall's action says. This timeline will, no doubt, be updated.
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Inquirer editor protests cuts to opinion pages

WHYY | Maynard Institute
Philadelphia Inquirer editorial page editor Harold Jackson wrote contributors, asking them to protest a decision to cut op-ed pages from the paper. Daniel Denvir reported last week that such a move was in the works.

Jackson's email, WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports, says the plan "not only does a disservice to the greater Philadelphia community, but represents a reduction in the status of one of America's largest cities." He asked contributors to email the owners of Interstate General Media, which owns The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, to protest.

IGM gave Fiedler the same statement it emailed Poynter over the weekend, saying the Inquirer's editorial decisions "are only at the discretion and direction of the Publisher Bob Hall and/or Editor Bill Marimow." The statement continued: (more...)
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Philly Inquirer reportedly cutting opinion pages

Philadelphia City Paper | Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Inquirer will cut its opinion section to one page next month, sources at the paper tell Daniel Denvir. Denvir's sources tell him the purported move is a reaction to a survey that "found that readers think the Inquirer is 'biased.' Cutting down on opinion is the supposed remedy."

Philly.com, an online portal the Inquirer shares with the Philadelphia Daily News (though both have their own premium sites as well) has a stable of opinion bloggers. Philly.com announced in May that Pennsylvania's governor would be one of them, but his sole contribution so far appears to be a Q&A with him, his wife and an unidentified questioner.

"The Saturday opinion section was quietly eliminated months ago," Denvir writes. (more...)
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Knight gives $345,000 to Philadelphia media incubator

Knight Foundation | Knight Blog | Philadelphia
The Knight Foundation is putting $345,000 into Project Liberty, a digital media incubator housed in the headquarters of Interstate General Media, which owns The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.

Knight "supported the initial launch," its release says; clients at the incubator "receive access to Philly.com, Inquirer.com and PhillyDailyNews.com as a platform for launching their new products."

Knight's press release says Philly.com "has incorporated several innovations from current and former incubator residents." (more...)
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Tensions reportedly grow between Philly.com and Philly newspapers

Philadelphia City Paper

Philly.com "is increasingly competing against the dailies' newsrooms with its own writers," Daniel Denvir writes. The website, like The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, is owned by Interstate General Media and shares content with both, but the newspapers' sites are premium and Philly.com is free.

Lexie Norcross, the daughter of IGM's George Norcross, runs Philly.com, and under her leadership the site has "sometimes tested the limits of journalistic norms," Denvir writes.

Some of Denvir's examples: "In May, Philly.com posted a disclaimer next to an Inquirer business column — seemingly at the request of an advertiser"; there was the whole business of giving the governor a column; and Lexie Norcross, he writes, tweeted in support of Cory Booker. (more...)
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Tom Corbett

Pennsylvania’s governor will write column for Philly.com

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Philly.com
Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett will have a regular space on Philly.com's "New Voices" platform, the company announced Thursday. He'll produce "photo essays, videos and columns, highlighting the Governor’s perspective in addressing state issues of importance to Philadelphians," the announcement says.

Pennsylvania's next gubernatorial election is scheduled for 2014, and Corbett will be able to run for reelection. His inaugural column is a soft-focus Q&A with him and his wife, Susan Corbett.

So, uh, how's that going over in the newsrooms associated with Philly.com, which like The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News is owned by Interstate General Media, and some of whose content appears on Philly.com? (The company launched pay sites last month, but Philly.com remains free.) (more...)
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Philadelphia Inquirer & the Daily News launch pay sites

Philly.com | Philadelphia Magazine | News & Tech
Philadelphia's newspapers launched subscription sites Monday: Inquirer.com and PhillyDailyNews.com. Philly.com, which will continue to feature content from both papers, will remain free.

The sites are strictly membership-only, Interstate General Media spokesperson Mark Block tells Poynter in an email. Content on those sites is available, he writes, if:

a.) you are a Daily News single copy customer and receive your access code each day in the Daily News for PhillyDailyNews.com b.) you are a home delivery subscriber to the Daily News (for access to PhillyDailyNews.com) or Inquirer (for access to Inquirer.com)
"The membership websites will further Interstate General Media’s commitment to serving both newspapers’ loyal readers and re-ignite their relationship with the people of Philadelphia," a story introducing them says. Memberships are available via a "Subscriber Concierge." (more...)
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