Philly newspaper bosses kill story about potential bidder

UPDATE: An emailer writes: “What about this editing job regarding Rendell’s bid for the paper? The initial version that appeared online Friday night placed the valuation of the paper at $40 million. By Saturday morning that graph was removed both online and in print. But the original version still exists in other papers.”

Here’s the paragraph that was taken out of the Inquirer:

Observers of the marketing process say the new owners would be fortunate to receive such a high bid [$100 million]. The company’s representatives have told prospective bidders that Philadelphia Media Network had $4 million last year in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Using traditional standards, a company with that kind of cash flow would be valued at less than $40 million.

* Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer story with the missing paragraph

* Here’s the same story in the News & Observer with the paragraph

I’ve asked Philadelphia Media Network CEO Greg Osberg about reports that he’s involved in the coverage of the PMN papers sale, while reportedly aligned with Ed Rendell.

UPDATE: “We have no comment in respect to these rumors,” PMN external relations vice president Mark Block says in an email.

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A 1:55 p.m. post by Philadelphia Daily News reporter David Gambacorta about a potential Inquirer/Daily News bidder was pulled an hour later by management, according to a source. “Why? Not entirely sure but guessing it is because [Philadelphia Media Network CEO Greg] Osberg is tied in with the Rendell Group.”

Here’s what’s in place of the original story

Here’s an excerpt of the post that was taken down:

Developer Bart Blatstein is leading a group of local investors who want to purchase Philadelphia Media Network, the parent company of the Daily News, Inquirer, Philly.com and SportsWeek.

The group, dubbed Philly Hometown Media LLC, is comprised of Blatstein; Jerry Sweeney, the president of the Brandywine Realty Trust; Bill Harvey, a partner at the law firm Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg; Harold Honickman, the soda mogul; and Andrew Barroway, a consumer rights litigator.

Blatstein’s development company, Tower Investments, last year purchased PMN’s ivory tower headquarters at Broad and Callowhill streets.

Philly Hometown Media LLC released a statement that read in part:
“We reject the notion that operating the dominant print and online sources for news and information in the Philadelphia area has to be an act of philanthropy.

“If we have learned anything in the last ten years, it’s that Philadelphians, like the rest of the country, have become information junkies.” …..

Last week, it was revealed that former Governor Ed Rendell was leading a group of at least five other local investors who also want to purchase the newspapers and their website from its current hedge fund owners. …

Posted by David Gambacorta @ 1:55 PM Permalink | Post a comment

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1 comment
  1. Dave Barnes said:

    “We have no comment in respect to these rumors,” means
    we are leaking like a sieve and I tired of you buttholes buggine me.