By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Former Governor Rendell’s connections may bring in local investors to potentially bid for the company that owns the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

The local investment group has submitted what’s called “an expression of interest” to buy Philadelphia Media Network.

Rendell would be a non-equity partner:

“I’d be on the board, and make my voice heard on the overarching issues. Nobody, myself included, wants to be the publisher,” Rendell says.

He says they would retain newspaper CEO Greg Osberg and strive to keep both papers open.

The potential local investors include Flyers owner Ed Snider, South Jersey philanthropist Lewis Katz, insurance executive George Norcross, technology executive Kris Singh, and real estate investment trust executive Bill Hankowsky.

Rendell says they’re civic-minded people who would not be in to turn a quick profit at the media company:

“They ought to stay locally controlled,” he adds.

After a grueling bankruptcy process that began in February of 2009, the media company was sold at auction in September 2010 to 32 investors, mostly hedge funds and institutions.

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