Former Governor Rendell had assembled an investor group to buy Philadelphia Media Network, which consists of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com from hedge funds Alden Global and Angelo Gordon. His investor group included Flyers owner Ed Snider, South Jersey political boss George Norcross, parking lot king and former Nets owner Lewis Katz. In short, all the people who make news in the city.
Many complained that the auction process was rigged. Evercore Partners, the investment banking house running the auction, would not allow Raymond and Ronald Perelman and an investor group headed by real estate mogul Bart Blatstein to participate.
Just ran into former Governor Ed Rendell on Locust St near 15th. He said, "I don't think that we will buying." His thin skinned buyers group probably could not take the negative publicity on their bid from Buzz Bissinger, the New York Times, and others. Bissinger, who compared Rendell to Randolph Hearst, worried about the journalistic conflicts of interest with such an investor group. The New York highlighted a censored a blog post about rival bids on Philly.com.
The real villains in this deal are not Ed Rendell and his buddies but Randall Smith of Alden Global and John Angelo and Mike Gordon of Angelo Gordon. They refused to allow philanthropist Raymond Perelmann to buy the papers two years ago even though they knew that they were not interested in being long term owners of the paper. They can not even justify their refusal on economic grounds. The papers are worth less today than two years. One of the nation's finest regional newspapers, which was the only check on a corrupt political culture, was destroyed by their inflated egos.