Update: Philadelphia Inquirer co-owners Lewis Katz and Gerry Lenfest have sued their company over editor Bill Marimow’s firing. The two say that publisher Bob Hall didn’t consult them before dismissing Marimow.
The AP reports: “The lawsuit seeks Marimow’s return and Hall’s ouster. It alleges newsroom morale has plummeted. Current and former staffers have also signed an online petition supporting Marimow.”
The firing of Philadelphia Inquirer editor Bill Marimow “has the appearance more of a coup than a carefully considered management decision,” says Robert R. Frump, the head of the Inquirer’s alumni group. The paper’s owners “need to review very carefully whether [publisher Bob] Hall acted appropriately in this matter and in fact has been a good steward of Inquirer and Daily News resources.” || Statement in support of Marimow.
Five Hundred Member Inquirer Alumni Society Urges Inquirer Chairman to Review Firing
The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News Alumni Society, with 584 former business and editorial executives and staffers, urged H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, chairman of The Inquirer’s parent company, to continue to oppose the firing of editor Bill Marimow.
Lenfest suggested Tuesday that the firing of editor Marimow was inappropriately handled, saying such a major change needed the agreement of a two-member management committee of the board composed of owners George E. Norcross III and Lewis Katz./CONTINUES
“My position is that he should not have been terminated without the approval of both,” Lenfest told journalists then. He is an owner and chairman of Interstate General Media (IGM), which controls the newspaper, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the website Philly.com.
“As more details emerge, this has the appearance more of a coup than a carefully considered management decision,” said Robert R. Frump, President of the alumni society. “Obviously, basic rules have been broken here and the owners need to review very carefully whether Mr. Hall acted appropriately in this matter and in fact has been a good steward of Inquirer and Daily News resources.”
Of particularly concern, Frump noted, is Mr. Hall’s failure to manage the newspaper’s web and mobile portals. Philly.com is a free news website powered by newspaper content while the Inquirer.com is behind a paywall.
“It is an extraordinary state of events in 2013, 20 years after the web became a force in content, to see such a primitive and ill-formed approach,” Frump said.
Robert R. Frump has served as both an editor and publisher of Knight-Ridder, Inc., properties, and also worked at The Inquirer covering politics and transportation. The Alumni Society was formed in 2010 on LinkedIn and now has 584 active members.