Terry Egger, the former publisher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has been named publisher and CEO of Philadelphia Media Network, the parent company of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.
Egger succeeds Gerry Lenfest, who owns the company, as publisher. According to a release from Philadelphia Media Network, Lenfest will remain involved with company strategy.
Egger’s elevation to CEO represents the most significant transfer of power in Philly since Lenfest and Lewis Katz won control of the publishing properties in an auction last year. The bid came after a legal battle between the company’s owners over the firing of Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow, who was reinstated by a judge.
In an interview with The Inquirer, Egger said he would safeguard the company’s journalistic integrity while maintaining a focus on “maximizing revenue” for the newspaper. He predicted the upcoming year would be difficult for the company and said he “may have to make adjustments” when asked about possible staffing decreases.
We have to remember that it’s about the journalism we do, and the news and information we produce every day, and its value to readers and users,” he said. “We’re a content, news and information company. That is our core competency.”
Although Egger now oversees the biggest news outlet in Philadelphia, he also inherits mighty challenges, including the continued decline in regional print advertising and a scrappy local media scene that has produced several Web-savvy startups. Former Digital First Media Editor-in-Chief Jim Brady debuted Billy Penn, a mobile-first offering aimed at millennials, last year. And George Norcross, Lenfest’s former rival for The Inquirer, has helped launch a “well-funded media startup,” Philly Voice.
But for Marimow, Egger’s appointment bodes well for the company’s future.
— Bill Marimow (@bmarimow65) August 24, 2015
Before joining the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Egger was an executive at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and in Tucson, Arizona.