PMN to be Sold for $55 Million; Remember how much it was worth in 2006?
Philly.com is confirming this morning that a group of investors will buy the Philadelphia Media Network for $55 million, with “an additional $10 million in working capital for operations.” The group buying the papers and website are led by businessman Lewis Katz, 70, and Democratic leader George W. Norcross III, 56. Others in the group include philanthropist H.F. Lenfest, 81, Holtec International CEO Krishna Singh, 64, Liberty Property Trust CEO William Hankowsky, 64, and Conner Strong Buckelew chairman Joseph Buckelew. The new owners have and will sign a pledge that they will not interfere with editorial decisions.
Last week, Norcross, who will serve as one of the managing partners, made headlines for having allegedly been involved in “political cronyism” and “mismanagement” of taxpayer dollars in his dealings with the Delaware River Port Authority, according to New Jersey State Comptroller.
The recent history of the papers’ ownership doesn’t read pretty. Local public relations executive Brian Tierney led a group which bought the Philly media papers and website for $515 million from the McClatchy Company less than six years ago. Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, the subsidiary of Philadelphia Media Holdings (Tierney’s group) then filed for bankruptcy in February 2009 and the company was later auctioned off to hedge funds and investors for $139 million in the spring of 2010, after Tierney and his group heavily advertised a “Keep it [as in, ownership] local” campaign.
The current price of $55 million is almost half of what Alden Global and Angelo Gordon, representatives of the New York hedge-fund managers, were seeking in January when the sale was first announced.
The ownership change is expected to bring a new round of layoffs. I could go on about how daily print newspapers are generally fucked. But you get the idea.