The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

Newspaper Guild files petition to intervene.

January 13, 2014billrossInquirer

Following a tumultuous 2013 which saw the rival ownership groups of Interstate General Media wage a public legal battle for control of the company, culminating in decision-making gridlock, a corporate deadlock and opposing suits filed in different jurisdictions to dissolve the company and put it up for auction, the Newspaper Guild filed a Petition to Intervene this morning with the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. 
As the Guild has already been contacted by at least one potential outside bidder for the company interested in teaming with us, our filing, in brief, is to support a public auction for the company – or a private auction in which the Guild has a right to bid. 
As our petition states: ” . . . because the dispute among the Ownership Group has escalated to the point that the integrity and viability of longstanding legacy newspapers of the Philadelphia region and jobs of the Guild’s 550 members are in jeopardy, the Guild seeks to intervene in this action to request that the Court order a public or other auction of the company’s assets in which the Guild is permitted to participate in the bidding process to acquire the company’s assets, in whole or in part. Given the instability of the newspaper organization over the past decade and experience with a prior private auction (which has led to the current demise of the company), the Guild believes that the best way to protect the viability of the Inquirer, Daily News and and to provide stability to its members (IGM employees), is through a fair and impartial auction, in which the Guild is permitted to participate as a bidder or potential purchaser.”
Whichever side of the present ownership dispute you support, if you support any at all, it is clear to everyone including the owners that what we have now isn’t working and wasn’t working when these owners came to us a year ago demanding $6 million in givebacks or they would sell the company. Well, they got their $6 million from us and millions more from the other unions and independents and here we are one year later with a part-time publisher who may or may not still work here, no assistant publisher, no editor for, and they’re putting the company up for sale.
It no longer matters whose fault it is. It has to stop. We hope the court will rule favorably on our petition and we will keep you posted as things develop.
In Solidarity,
Bill Ross, Executive Director
Howard Gensler, President
The Executive Board of the Newspaper Guild, Local 38010