Tuesday, May 23, 2006


The Pharaoh's onetime consigliere has become a Pharaoh in his own right.

As buzzed here yesterday, the Philadelphia Media Holdings team led by former DEFCON 1 archdiocesan media operative Brian Tierney (left) has inked a deal to purchase the city's Inquirer and Daily News from McClatchy for the tidy sum of $562 million.

If you need an indicator of Tierney's background, just look over his shoulder at the portrait in the background.... Same photo's being used in the Inky's story. Press conference expected shortly.

Tierney, a Philadelphia public relations and advertising executive who organized the local buyers, said that Philadelphia Media Holdings L.L.C. intended to be long-term owners. "Our plan is to invest in and grow both papers," he said in a news release....

The deal will return The Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News to local private ownership for the first time since since Walter H. Annenberg sold the papers to Knight Newspapers Inc. in 1969.

"I sincerely hope it will be a good deal for the papers," McClatchy chairman Gary Pruitt said in an interview. "I understand the concerns. I think it will be a good outcome." In a statement he called it a "win-win deal" for McClatchy, the buyers and Philadelphia. He called it a "full, fair price."

Local ownership by a group with diversified business and political interests could cast the papers' editorial independence into doubt, some observers have worried.

The deal included $515 million in cash and $47 million in assumed pension liabilities.

Congrats to the new owners, my dad's new bosses.... After nine months of anxiety, the old man is breathing a sigh of relief.

To know that feels so good. And, almost as good, God's favorite newspaper lives!

Philadelphia Inquirer/File