Philadelphia's top newspapers will be sold at a public auction today after months of infighting between the papers' co-owners. The auction will settle philosophical disputes at Interstate General Media about the direction of the publications. Philly.com is also part of the package being auctioned.
Although there are many players from IGM on both sides of the dispute, the split comes down to George Norcross and Lewis Katz. Norcross wants the publications to focus on local stories and invest heavily in sports coverage, while Katz wants more resources devoted to long-term investigative pieces and magazine-style reporting. The winner of the auction will acquire complete control over the publications, fully buying out the loser.
"These are accomplished businessmen," Krishna Singh, a former IGM partner whom Norcross bought out in late 2013, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"If I thought they weren't willing to work together, I wouldn't have voted for them to be managing partners. Philadelphia needs a high-quality newspaper. I was hoping I would be in the passenger seat. Unfortunately, things did not unfold that way. Hopefully, there will be a single owner or two that are totally compatible and can do justice to running the paper."
The auction will open at $77 million.