You know the Inquirer and Daily News are for sale, right? So far the potential buyers are former Gov. Ed Rendell, who would surely morph the papers into pro-political establishment cheerleading rags, and mega-developer Bart Blatstein, who we fear would pseudonymous pen an unusual number of glowing features about the Piazza, or something.
The New York Post broke the original Inky up for grabs story, which was a surprise to the reporters who work at the home-town papers. Who apparently are not allowed to report on the potential sale themselves, at least not in any honest manner.
JimRomenesko.com caught the paper with its pants down:
First, the Inky had an online story on Friday that mentioned the papers were worth around $40 million in reality, far short of the $100 million asking price. The piece also mentioned that the papers earned $4 million last year. By the time the paper hit the streets, the figures was gone, and had been scrubbed from Philly.com as well.
Then, today the Daily News had a blog post up mentioning Blatstein’s interest. Whoops! The story read, in part,
Developer Bart Blatstein is leading a group of local investors who want to purchase Philadelphia Media Network, the parent company of the Daily News, Inquirer, Philly.com and SportsWeek.
Within two hours, the post was gone, replaced with this pablum:
A Philadelphia Media Network spokesman today confirmed that the company is not in discussions with Bart Blatstein or the group calling itself Philly Homegrown Media to buy the company that publishes The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily News and philly.com.
A statement from Blatstein earlier Tuesday was posted on this blog in which he said his group would like to make a bid for the company.
The company issued no further comment.
Note that the title of the link to the second story still reads: “Move-over-Ed—-Blatstein-wants-newspapers.html”
Why all the shenanigans? “Sources say” Publisher Greg Osberg is trying to rig the game for Rendell. This is the new reality for Philadelphia news media.