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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