National Petition Urges Philadelphia Inquirer to Retain Editor Marimow

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Journalist and newspaper business people launched a national position aimed at retaining Bill Marimow as editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer following remarks by Ed Rendell and the Chairman of the Board of the Inquirer ownership stating the firing may not have been proper or legal.

Marimow

"I am...mystitfied by Bill Marimow's firing..." Ed Rendell

Supporters of Editor William K. Marimow launched a national petition today to urge the Philadelphia Inquirer's parent company to review Marimow's firing by Publisher Bob Hall.

"We believe editors and publishers will agree that a publisher oversteps his bounds when he orders an editor in chief to single out individual editors for firing, as Hall says he has done," said Robert Frump, a former Knight Ridder executive who served both as an editor and a publisher.

"The idea that a publisher would release internal HR documents to the public also violates basic management and fiduciary responsibilities," Frump said. "The board may very well want to review Mr. Hall's tenure rather than Marimow's."

Frump has been joined by several former Inquirer alumni and business executives.

The petition is at
http://www.change.org/petitions/board-members-and-owners-of-the-philadelphia-inquirer-review-publisher-bob-hall-s-inappropriate-firing-of-editor-bill-marimow?share_id=LwUUKVvPNz&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

The national petition was begun after senior members of the Inquirer parent company balked at the firing and Pennsyvlania Democrat Ed Rendell spoke out in Marimow's defense. The Inquirer reported:

"The chairman of The Inquirer's parent company suggested Tuesday that the firing of editor Marimow was not handled properly, saying such a major move would have needed the agreement of a two-member management committee of the board composed of owners George E. Norcross III and Lewis Katz.

"My position is that he should not have been terminated without the approval of both," said H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, an owner and chairman of Interstate General Media (IGM), which controls the newspaper, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the website Philly.com.

That requirement for agreement between Katz and Norcross, the two managing partners, is contained in the partnership agreement among the six principal owners, the philanthropist said in a brief interview, declining further comment, an Inquirer article at this site stated. http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131009_Tensions_rise_over_editor_s_removal.html?c=r.

Norcross, a businessman and South Jersey Democratic leader, and Katz, a businessman who was owner of the New Jersey Nets, have been at odds, particularly over the management of The Inquirer and IGM's digital news strategy, the Inquirer article said.

The Inquirer http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131009_Tensions_rise_over_editor_s_removal.html?c=r quoted Rendell online as stating:

"I am surprised and mystified at Bill Marimow's dismissal," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said in an interview Tuesday. "It would be like the Eagles firing a coach who's 8-2 - if any of us can remember when the Eagles were 8-2."

On Tuesday, Inquirer staffers began circulating a petition in the newsroom protesting the firing of Marimow, for presentation to the ownership and the public. According to The Inquirer article, the petition stated:

"Bill Marimow has led The Inquirer superbly," the petition says. "We find the criticism leveled at him now unclear and unconvincing." It says Marimow has been a "compassionate" newsroom leader who has upheld the paper's commitment to journalistic integrity and excellence "throughout buyouts, layoffs, a bankruptcy, and changes in ownership."

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Robert Frump
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