Articles about "Philadelphia Inquirer"

A Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, center left, building vending machines are seen in Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 27, 2010. Philadelphia's two largest newspapers are scheduled to go on the auction block in a New York City law office as part of a bankruptcy reorganization plan for Philadelphia Newspapers LLC. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philly newspapers go on the auction block this morning

The Philadelphia Inquirer

At 9:30 Tuesday morning, owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and will bid for control of the properties and their parent company in an auction, David Sell wrote Tuesday in The Inquirer. (UPDATE: They were sold for $88 million to Lewis Katz’s group.)

The two groups in that auction, which is closed to both the public and the press, are George E. Norcross III, William Hankowsky and Joseph Buckelew, Sell reported, and Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest.

The dispute erupted and litigation began in October, when publisher Robert F. Hall fired Inquirer editor William K. Marimow over the objection of Katz. A Philadelphia judge reinstated Marimow, but denied Katz’s request to have Hall removed.

The dispute prompted the two groups to seek to dissolve the company, with the auction used to decide who gains control.

Norcross already submitted $77 million as the opening bid, Sell reported. On Sunday, Sell wrote about how we’ve gotten to this point and what it could mean to the media in Philadelphia.

What happens that morning is likely to have a lasting impact – and not just on the 1,800 employees who work for The Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News,, and at a plant IGM owns outside Conshohocken. Through hearings in Philadelphia and Delaware, court filings, and public statements, both men have made clear they have different visions for the company, long a dominant local news source for hundreds of thousands in the region.

Angelo Fichera, a reporter at The Inquirer, is tweeting the auction.

Read more

1 Comment

Media can’t attend Philadelphia Inquirer auction

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Big Trial

Next Tuesday, the owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and will meet in a courtroom to determine which of them will get to keep the properties. The auction will be closed to the public and representatives of the media, David Sell reports in the Inquirer:

“Having considered the parties’ submissions, I conclude that the auction should be conducted confidentially and that the auction should be closed to everyone but the participants and the trustee,” Delaware Court of Chancery Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons Jr. wrote in a letter accompanying his order.

Parsons did order that the winning bidder and eventual sale price of the publishing assets be released. One group of the current owners, as well as the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia, asked for an open auction, Ralph Cipriano reports for Big Trial.

Co-owners Lewis Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest “wanted only the identity of the winning bidder disclosed, and not the amount of the winning bid,” Cipriano writes. George E. Norcross III, Joseph Buckelew, and William P. Hankowsky make up the other group of co-owners bidding in the auction.

Parsons last month ordered that Interstate General Media’s partnership be dissolved and its assets sold via an “English-style” auction among current owners. Bidding will begin at $77 million and “will increase $1 million every 10 minutes until one side drops out,” Sell reports.

The Guild had considered making a bid for IGM’s holdings but “couldn’t come up with an investor willing to spend $77 million,” Cipriano writes. In a blog post last month, the Guild said “someone else can overpay.”

The auction “means that Inquirer Publisher Bob Hall and Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow will stay on the job for one more week, until the auction is over,” Cipriano writes.

If the Katz group wins, Marimow is in and Hall is out. If the Norcross group wins, Marimow is out and Hall may stay on the job until a new publisher is hired.

Read more
New Jersey businessman and co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, George Norcross, left, meets with attorney Michael Chertoff outside Judge Patricia McInerney's courtroom during a recess, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at City Hall in Philadelphia. McInerney heard arguments over who should control The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Judge orders Philadelphia Inquirer’s ownership dissolved, sold by auction

Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons Friday ordered that Interstate General Media, the partnership that owns The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and, be dissolved and sold by an “English-style” auction among partners.

“The minimum bid for the auction shall be set at $77 million in cash,” Parsons writes in his ruling, which you can read below. The auction can be held no later than May 28, he ordered.

The decision “was a victory for George E. Norcross III, the co-owner who has argued for a private auction and has pledged to bid at least $77 million to win control of the company,” David Sell writes in the Inquirer.

“We are pleased that Vice Chancellor Parsons has agreed that the best way to end the IGM partnership is through a members only sale process, just as the original agreement stipulated,” IGM spokesperson Dan Fee said in a statement emailed to Poynter. “We are also pleased that he has agreed that the bidding process should be open and transparent and that it should be done quickly.” Read more

1 Comment

Reporter bails on media beat after 11 years covering Philly papers


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. Read more

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)
Read more

Potential new buyer for Philly papers emerges | The Washington Post | Philadelphia Magazine

There’s a potential buyer for the embattled, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, according to a report out yesterday from

“The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia declined to reveal the potential buyer, but said the party is interested in purchasing the entire company or a majority stake from parent company Interstate General Media, whose owners include wealthy New Jersey businessman Lewis Katz and powerful South Jersey Democrat George Norcross,” the reports reads.

The news follow a suit and countersuit filed by Katz and Norcross and a tangle of other developments, including the firing of editor Bill Marimow. And it comes as the papers appear to be on the edge of profitability again. Yesterday, Joel Mathis wrote in Philadelphia Magazine that rumors of profitability had been brewing for a while, but “confirmation of a sorts emerged Tuesday, as part of an explanation from Bill Ross, executive director of the Newspaper Guild, as to why the guild had publicized its bid to buy out one or all of IGM’s warring owners.” Read more


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. Read more

Philadelphia Newspapers Bankruptcy

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

The co-owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer, 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 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 and”.

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. Read more

William Marimow

Bill Marimow will leave Philadelphia Inquirer

Editor Bill Marimow will leave The Philadelphia Inquirer, a source at the newspaper tells Poynter. Marimow and Publisher Bob Hall had a “difference in philosophical vision in the direction of the paper,” the source says. The newsroom was scheduled to learn of Marimow’s departure this afternoon, the source said. There’s no timetable yet for Marimow’s departure.

An email from Hall to staffers said Stan Wischnowski, who replaced Marimow after the first time the Inquirer let him go in 2010, would be “acting editor.” Jim Romenesko also got the memo and updated his story to say he’d heard Marimow was refusing to leave the building. WHYY senior reporter Dave Davies writes that Hall “instructed Marimow to fire at least two veteran staff members at the newspaper, and that he refused on principle, precipitating his own dismissal.” Davies also says the leaders of Interstate General Media, which bought the Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News last year, “are divided on the question of Marimow’s leadership and other issues.” Read more


Politico, Philadelphia Inquirer & The Wrap all launch redesigns

Politico has chosen two new typefaces “designed specifically for newsprint’s narrow column measures,” its editors write in a note about its print product’s new look.

These new fonts, which are slightly more condensed than the old ones, will allow for more photographs and information graphics on inside pages. And Escrow will allow the paper to fully embrace S-E-Q-U-E-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N in headlines.

Image courtesy the Newseum
Read more