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Philadelphia Newspaper Owners Apologize For Censoring Blatstein Article

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A spokesman for Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, has apologized for the removal of a reporter’s story earlier this week from the philly.com web site.

It’s part of a reversal of policy about reporting on the sale of the company.

The Inquirer today published a story about developer Bart Blatstein’s interest in buying the company, three days after killing a similar story (see related article) and, sources say, two days after company management threatened editors with termination if a word about Blatstein appeared in print or online — even in personal “social media” posts.

Daily News reporter Dave Gambacorta also had a story in today’s paper, two days after his online story about Blatstein was removed without his knowledge.

The Newspaper Guild, which represents reporters at both papers, filed a grievance over the removal of Gambacorta’s story.  The union says the grievance has been resolved since company spokesman Mark Block has publicly apologized for casting doubt on Gambacorta’s honesty and professionalism in explaining why the post was removed.

The newspapers are now agreeing to report on all potential buyers.

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