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Two owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News gain control

A Philadelphia Daily News columnist says the staff is not celebrating the paper's fifth change of owner in eight years.
By Frances Burns   |   May 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM   |   Comments

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PHILADELPHIA, May 27 (UPI) -- Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers changed hands again Tuesday in an auction that resolved a dispute between the owners.

Lewis Katz, a Philadelphia businessman, and philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest agreed to pay $88 million, outbidding George Norcross, a South Jersey businessman and powerful Democratic leader, in a private auction. Norcross, Katz and Lenfest headed a group that bought the newspapers in April 2012, but had recently been unable to agree on how to run them.

Stu Bykofsky, a longtime Daily News columnist, said no one in the newsroom was breaking out the champagne.

"This is like the fifth sale we've been through in the last eight years. So I think there's a sort of a mood of apprehension. We don't know what's going to happen next," Bykofsky said. "We do know after all the preceding sales, generally we've taken a hit -- the employees -- we've lost our pension, we have to take a two-week furlough, our pay has been cut, so we wonder what comes next."

The Inquirer was one of the country's most-admired newspapers for many years. The Daily News had a smaller national reputation but was known locally as a scrappy tabloid.

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