Rivals debate auction rules for Philly newspapers

Feb 20, 2014, 7:20 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The top investor in Philadelphia’s largest newspapers wants the company sold in a quick, closed auction among current partners while a rival wants a slower sale open to all.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com is expected to be sold for the sixth time in eight years, and would come less than two years after powerful Democrat George Norcross, Lewis Katz and others joined forces as Interstate General Media to buy the businesses.

After a falling out, Norcross and Katz are leading rival factions that filed briefs this week in the Delaware court handling the dissolution and sale of their company.

Norcross, who owns an insurance company, wants a private sale among current investors, done on just a few days’ notice.

“You and I both have the funding readily available to buy each other out,” Norcross wrote in a Jan. 29 letter to Katz, the former New Jersey Nets owner, which went unanswered.

“A new president, publisher and CEO need to be hired. … A new editor for the Inquirer needs to be identified. A new editor for Philly.com must be hired,” Norcross wrote in the letter, which was attached to a court filing Wednesday. “This dispute has delayed those critical moves for months.”

Norcross suggested that he and Katz meet for a two-man showdown on 48 hours’ notice, “with winner taking all.” Katz, in his filing, seeks a slower approach.

He asked Chancery Court Judge Donald F. Parsons Jr. to hold a one- or two-day hearing to determine the auction rules. He called for a closed-bid auction open to all, to fetch the highest price, while Norcross argued for an “English auction” with incremental bidding.

“The (Newspaper) Guild’s motion to intervene demonstrates that there is interest outside of the current ownership in bidding on IGM,” Katz’s lawyer wrote, referring to an employee effort to mount a joint bid with an unnamed partner. “Additional bidders will promote an even greater sale price.”

Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow’s contract expires in April, and won’t be renewed if Norcross stays onboard. Publisher Bob Hall has support from Norcross, but not Katz.

The company’s sales price has dropped from $515 million in 2006 to about $55 million in 2012.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - Recording artist A$AP Rocky attends the premiere for "Stockholm Syndrome," during the 20th T...
Associated Press

Rapper A$AP Rocky charged with felony assault with a firearm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rapper A$AP Rocky was charged with two felonies Monday for pulling a gun on a former friend and firing in Hollywood last year, prosecutors said. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged the 33-year-old New York native, whose legal name is Rakim Athelaston Mayers, with two counts of assault with […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Colorado man shoots, kills bear after it entered his home

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado man had a rude awaking early Saturday morning when a roughly 400-pound (181-kilogram) bear flipped the lever doorknob to his home and rummaged through some dog food, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Monday. The homeowner, Ken Mauldin, grabbed a gun and shot the bear multiple times until it collapsed […]
18 hours ago
An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Wednesday, Aug. 10, 202...
Associated Press

Feds oppose unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago warrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Monday rebuffed efforts to make public the affidavit supporting the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida, saying the investigation “implicates highly classified material” and the document contains sensitive information about witnesses. The government’s opposition came in response to court filings by several news organizations, […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Illegal border crossings fall in July but remain high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Migrants were stopped fewer times at the U.S. border with Mexico in July than in June, authorities said Monday, a second straight monthly decline. Flows were still unusually high, particularly among nationalities less affected by Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that denies migrants legal rights to seek asylum on grounds of preventing […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Law enforcement personnel escort the Trump Organization's former Chief Financial Officer All...
Associated Press

Trump Org. CFO expected to plead guilty in NY tax case

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s longtime finance chief is expected to plead guilty as soon as Thursday in a tax evasion case that is the only criminal prosecution to arise from a long-running investigation into the former president’s company, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Cops: Suspects in attack on elderly woman are ages 11 to 18

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Three children ages 11, 13, and 14 and an 18-year-old beat and robbed a 70-year-old Asian woman last month inside her San Francisco apartment building and two of them have been arrested, police said Monday. The woman was outside her Chinatown building when the suspects approached her on July 31 and […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Rivals debate auction rules for Philly newspapers