Court Orders 'Philadelphia Inquirer' Sold

The tortuous saga of The Philadelphia Inquirer continued last week with a ruling by Delaware Court of Chancery vice chancellor Donald F. Parsons Jr. that the newspaper’s parent company, Interstate General Media, must be dissolved and its properties, including the Inquirer and its sister paper the Philadelphia Daily News, sold in a private auction between its owners.

The move is intended to resolve a long-running dispute between estranged former partners over who should control the newspapers.
 
According to a report in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the ruling is viewed as a victory for George E. Norcross III, one of the co-owners, who has previously advocated a private auction and promised to bid at least $77 million of the defunct company -- the minimum bid required by Parsons in his ruling on Friday.
 
The Philadelphia Inquirer has been at the center of a legal drama for some years now, including multiple bankruptcy declarations and long-running court battles for control of the newspaper and its associated properties.
 
The saga began in 2006, when a group of local Philadelphia investors led by ad exec Brian Tierney bought The Inquirer and Daily News from McClatchy for $500 million. In 2009 the company created by Tierney and his fellow investors, the Philadelphia Media Network, declared bankruptcy and was eventually acquired by hedge funds including Angelo Gordon and Alden Global Capital for $139 million in September 2010.
 
In April 2012, the beleaguered newspapers were sold yet again -- this time for just $55 million -- to IGM, a company created by Norcross and partner Lewis Katz.
 
The most recent contretemps dates back to October 2013 when The Philadelphia Inquirer’s publisher, Robert J. Hall, fired editor Bill K. Marimow, apparently at the behest of Norcross, triggering a falling out between Norcross and co-owner Katz. Subsequently Katz claimed that Norcross was trying to seize control of the newsroom, while Norcross leveled the same accusation at Katz.
 
A Philadelphia judge ordered Marimow restored to his position in November, but the company has been effectively paralyzed by the stalemate between the two co-owners, setting the stage for yet another legal battle and culminating in today’s court decision.
Tags: newspapers, sales
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1 comment about "Court Orders 'Philadelphia Inquirer' Sold".
  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , May 7, 2014 at 3:10 p.m.
    Tierney (who wanted to be a media mogul and control the news as he claim to fame prior was representing the Arch Diocese of Phila. while running the papers amok in a bee outfit) and his cohorts, Toll Brothers (yes the builders, one of whom declared pre-Inquirer quoted in the Inquirer that he was going to get his $25 million/yr regardless of company profits or losses) raided the pension fund to the tune of about $100 million with the blessing of a judge in a very political town. Just for the record, people should know.