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Local

George Norcross Increases His Holdings in Inquirer’s Parent Company

(Photo illustration by Ed Fischer)

(Photo illustration by Ed Fischer)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The power structure of the company that owns the Philadelphia Inquirer has not changed since the recent court fight between its owners, but one of those owners has now acquired a larger stake in the company.

When the feud between rival ownership factions surfaced, the primary combatants — co-owners George Norcross and Lewis Katz — each owned equal shares, about 26 percent of the company.

Now, Norcross has purchased the shares of an ally, effectively doubling down his investment.  Norcross now owns about 52 percent of the company. Two additional partners aligned with him bring the faction’s total interest to 58 percent.

Parking magnate Katz and his ally, cable television pioneer Gerry Lenfest, together still own 42 percent of the company.  They have been wrangling with the Norcross group over control of the media company.

Their dispute became public when publisher Bob Hall fired editor Bill Marimow.  Katz and Lenfest supported Marimow and wanted Hall removed. A judge reinstated Marimow and refused to remove Hall, bringing the entire matter back to square one.

Observers say the main problem remains: Norcross and Katz are bound by a management agreement that gives each of them “blocking rights,” the ability to veto each other on any major decision.