Talk of Philadelphia Media Network sale

April 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM

PHILADELPHIA, April 1 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia investor group has been negotiating to acquire Philadelphia Media Network Inc. in a deal valued at almost $60 million, officials say.

The group is lead by George E. Norcross III, executive chairman of New Jersey insurance brokerage Conner Strong & Buckelew, and Lewis Katz, former chairman of Interstate Outdoor Advertising.

The sale would put Philadelphia Media Network, or PMN, back into local hands. A group of hedge funds and other investors led by Alden Global Capital and Angelo, Gordon & Co., have owned PMN since Oct. 8, 2010, after acquiring the company in a auction overseen by U.S. Bankruptcy Court for $139 million.

The sale, expected to be announced Monday, will include The Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, will bring with it financial hardship. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported PMN has suffered an ongoing decline in revenue since the bankruptcy sale, and management has confirmed advertising revenue is not sufficient to sustain the company's cost structure.

PMN has trimmed its workforce in the last two years, shedding 67 employees either through layoffs or voluntary buyouts.

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