Lenfest becomes sole owner of Philly newspapers

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm •  Published: June 11, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A cable TV magnate completed an $88 million deal Wednesday to take over Philadelphia's largest newspapers after a bitter court fight and the sudden death of his business partner.

H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest became the sole owner of the troubled company that operates The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com. The company has lost millions of dollars and hundreds of workers as it churned through six ownership groups in the past eight years.

Lenfest, 84, is traveling overseas and has not returned messages left this week by The Associated Press.

A major philanthropist in the region, he had chipped in $10 million two years ago when a group of powerful business leaders bought the paper at the urging of former Gov. Ed Rendell. A feud between two of them, Democratic powerbroker George Norcross and former New Jersey Nets owner Lewis Katz, led to the latest sale last month.

Katz and Lenfest bid $88 million to win the auction, and pledged to fund in-depth journalism under Inquirer editor William K. Marimow, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

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