Published On: Tue, May 27th, 2014

Lewis Katz And George Norcross To Bid Against One Another Over Their Mutually Owned Philadelphia Newspapers

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News are set to have an ownership dispute settled today at an auction.

After George Norcross and Lewis Katz led a group of 6 investors who purchased the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News in 2012 for $55 million, the two men had a falling out. They could not agree on any major decisions that required both of their approvals and so they went to court to decide the future of the two newspapers. This is in spite of the fact that Mr. Norcross currently has more than a 50% share of the papers.

One disagreement the two has revolves around the newspapers’ type of news coverage. Katz prefers investigative reporting, while Norcross would rather emphasize local stories and sports.

Now, as a result of their court battle, the two publications are set to be sold at a closed door auction to be held today. This will mark the fifth time that the Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers have been sold since 2006.

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Both Mr. Katz and Mr. Norcross have reportedly each offered and opening bid of $77 million, which would be more than enough to buy out their partners. Whichever man should he win the bidding, he would become the owner of the publications and no longer need the other’s consent for their operations.

Lewis Katz has partnered in the bidding with H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, a renowned Philadelphia investor and philanthropist.

Lewis Katz is co-managing partner of the Philadelphia Media Network. He is also the former principal owner of the New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils, a former member of the board of governors of the National Basketball Association, and a current shareholder of the Nets and the New York Yankees.

Lewis Katz

A noted philanthropist, he is the director of the Katz Foundation, which supports charitable, educational and medical causes. Recently he pledged to donate US$25 million to Temple University in Philadelphia. His US$15 million gift to The Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University helped pay for a law school building there with his name on it.

Katz is a founding partner of, and serves as of counsel to, the law firm Katz, Ettin & Levine.

A native of Camden, New Jersey, Katz has established several programs to help Camden children. In 2012 he opened Katz Academy there, a charter school that teaches grades K-4.

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