By Steve Tawa

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — One of the key owners in the power struggle at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News contends the media giant should be sold at public auction, to fetch the best price.

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KYW’s Steve Tawa reports the feuding owners now jousting in a Delaware courtroom pledge to buy the other guys out.

Lewis Katz promises to match rival owner George Norcross’ $77-million minimum bid. Katz and co-owner Gerry Lenfest favor a public, open, sealed bid. Katz says that will drive up the price, rather than “bluffing, starting low and then raising bids.”

Norcross, who leads a majority owner group of three, wants a private auction limited to the current owners, and the Newspaper Guild, if deemed qualified, with ascending back and forth bidding.

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Katz disputes Norcross’ claim that when they acquired the papers in 2012, they drew up provisions for – as Norcross put it – “an amicable divorce,” if it didn’t work out.

Katz says “there was no talk of dissolution, because they were getting married.”

Katz also disagrees with Norcross’ assessment that the company was “at a tipping point.” Katz says they’ve done “reasonably well” since buying the company two years ago, even winning two Pulitzer Prizes.

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