Judge Denies Attempt To Remove Inquirer Publisher
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By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A judge had denied an attempt to remove the publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer by one faction in the owners’ group struggle at the media company.
But she reserved decision on whether to reinstate fired editor Bill Marimow.
After two days of arguments and testimony, and several private side bar conversations with as many as ten high-powered lawyers in the dispute, Judge Patricia McInerney decided publisher Bob Hall could finish out his contract.
Hall’s firing of Inquirer editor Bill Marimow last month touched off the internal battle for control of the paper among the six-owners, who are firmly aligned in two factions.
The group supporting Marimow is led by Lewis Katz, who testified his now rival partner George Norcross once wrote him an e-mail indicating that Norcross was dismayed that Katz was involved as much as he was, because Norcross thought he – Norcross – ‘would run the enterprise.’
Although Katz did not name Norcross or Norcross’ daughter, Lexi, who is involved in managing the Philly.com website, Katz says Hall’s attempt to fire certain newsroom editors was because ‘they had experiences which were negative with a co-managing owner’s family.’
Katz and Norcross form a managing committee that makes key decisions.