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Late Philadelphia Inquirer owner's son backs out of buying paper

Drew Katz denies reports of a falling out with owner Gerry Lenfest.
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM   |   Comments

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PHILADELPHIA, June 11 (UPI) --Drew Katz, son of late Philadelphia Inquirer owner Sam Katz, said he will sell his share of the newspaper to partner Gerry Lenfest, he announced Tuesday.

"Because of the turmoil of the last 10 days, I have made a decision that it would be in the best interests of The Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com for me to sell my interest in the company," Katz said in a statement.

"I believe strongly that the organization would be in excellent hands under the ownership of Gerry Lenfest now and in the years to come."

On May 27, Lewis Katz and Lenfest outbid then-co-owner George Norcross to win control of the Philadelphia media conglomerate. Katz and Norcross came together to acquire the paper in 2012, but perpetually disagreed about the editorial direction of their investment.

Four days after buying out Norcross, the elder Katz was killed in a private plane crash while returning to Philadelphia from Massachusetts. Early reports stated that Lenfest and Katz's son had a falling out, and that Lenfest failed to reach out after the plane, something Drew Katz staunchly denies.

"I would also like to emphasize that despite public reports to the contrary, Mr. Lenfest sent me a heartfelt, beautiful note when my father passed away," Katz said. "My father loved Gerry Lenfest and Gerry loved my dad."

Katz has a $16 million dollar stake in the Philadelphia media family, which Lenfest is expected to purchase by the end of the day.

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