By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Lawyers and rival owner factions at the Philadelphia Inquirer return to a City Hall courtroom this morning for more arguments, as a Common Pleas Judge tries to decide who is in charge (see previous story).
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Bill Marimow took the top post as editor of the Inquirer in 2012.
Marimow testified the two central figures in the lawsuit, now feuding partners Lewis Katz and George Norcross, said they would control his stay there.
Katz and Norcross formed a managing committee that would have ‘blocking power’ over the other member, in case there was a disagreement.
According to Marimow, the Inquirer‘s publisher Bob Hall fired him last month when he refused to remove, fire, or demote five key editors.
Katz testified he made it plain to Hall that he was against letting Marimow go.
Marimow says if he returned it would alleviate tension in the newsroom. That’s a reference to the bickering between Katz and Norcross, two of six owners who represent rival factions.
Philanthropist Gerry Lenfest, the board chairman, complained on the stand that co-owner Norcross was running the media company, leaving others out of key decisions.
The Katz/Lenfest faction wants Marimow reinstated and Hall removed. The group led by Norcross contends other owners were meddling, and Hall had authority to fire Marimow.