Local investors buy Philly newspapers for $55M

By Kathy Matheson

Associated Press

Published: Monday, April 2 2012 9:46 a.m. MDT

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News newspapers sit on display on a newsstand, Monday, April 2, 2012, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia's two largest newspapers could trade hands Monday for the fifth time in six years. Several powerful local businessmen are trying to close a deal to buy The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News from New York hedge funds.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia's two largest newspapers have been sold again.

A group of local businessmen announced Monday they have closed a $55 million deal to buy The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News from New York hedge funds. The buyers include cable TV mogul H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, powerful New Jersey Democrat George Norcross III and former New Jersey Nets owner Lewis Katz.

The deal also includes up to $10 million in capital for business operations.

Katz said in a statement released before a planned news conference the group wants to preserve the newspapers' tradition of outstanding journalism.

The purchase price for Philadelphia Media Network, which also operates the Philly.com website, is a fraction of the newspapers' $515 purchase price in 2006. It's also far less than the $139 million paid by creditors at a 2010 bankruptcy auction.

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