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Grief, Worry at Philadelphia Papers in Auction's Aftermath

Guild members at Philadelphia’s newspapers have been on a roller coaster of anxiety and tragedy in recent weeks, from the papers’ auction with an unexpected, but generally welcome, outcome, to the plane crash that killed their new boss five days later. Then, more upheaval as the son of the late Lewis Katz announced he would sell his father’s shares in the company to co-owner Gerry Lenfest. The Guild hoped Drew Katz would reconsider, local Executive Director Bill Ross said. But the deal closed this week. The major concern has been the return—days after Lewis Katz’s death—of an unpopular and distrusted executive, Brian Tierney. Lenfest had promised some time ago that Tierney wouldn’t be back. His reappearance, “has been very troubling to my membership,” Ross said. But Ross is also trying to give Lenfest the benefit of the doubt amidst the chaos. "I wish him the best. I'm glad he sees the value in the three wonderful products our members produce 365 days a year. For him to spend an additional 77 million dollars to be the sole owner shows his commitment to Philadelphia and the region. Now we need to all work together and make all three products successful and profitable and put this last chapter, which included a horrible tragedy, behind us, but never forget Lewis Katz."