Ex-Sun editor to head Philadelphia Inquirer

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 09, 2006|By Allison Connolly | Allison Connolly,Sun reporter

Former Sun editor William K. Marimow will return to his native Philadelphia to lead the newspaper where he won two Pulitzer Prizes.

Marimow, 59, will become editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, replacing Amanda Bennett, who will step down at the end of the year.

The newspaper is not the one Marimow left more than a decade ago. It has gone through several owners, and the group of local investors that now owns it is looking to make newsroom cuts over the next two months.

Standing next to publisher Brian P. Tierney, an advertising executive who heads the investor group that owns The Inquirer, Marimow told the Philadelphia newsroom yesterday, "We have to figure out how to thrive in an era of reduced resources," The Inquirer reported.

In a phone interview with The Sun late yesterday, Tierney said that he considers Marimow a partner and that the two have a "tremendous chemistry."

"[He has] an incredible journalist pedigree who happens to have spent part of his career here," he said. "He's beloved within the newsroom."

Marimow said he was returning to The Inquirer because he believed Tierny was committed to "owning this newspaper for decades to come" and said newspapers had to adapt to new economic pressures, especially as the growth of online media has cut into revenue.

"My goal is to mitigate the pain as much as possible and move the paper to a place where it can flourish and grow," Marimow said.

Marimow joined The Sun in 1993 as metropolitan editor. He became editor in 2000, after six years as managing editor. During his tenure, the newspaper won three Pulitzer Prizes, including one while he was editor. He was dismissed in 2004 by then publisher Denise Palmer at a time when owner Tribune Co. was seeking budget cuts.

Marimow next become managing editor at National Public Radio and two years later was named the top news executive. But he stepped down in October after less than nine months and took on the role of ombudsman.

Tierney said he seized the opportunity and asked Marimow if he would be interested in coming back to Philadelphia, where Marimow had worked for two decades beginning in 1972. He spent 14 years as a reporter, twice receiving a Pulitzer Prize. He also served as city editor and assistant to the publisher.

Tierney and his investor group, Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC, bought The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News from the McClatchy Co. in June for $562 million. Promoting the return to local ownership, Tierney said the newspapers needed to make cuts in the face of faltering advertising revenue and circulation.

allison.connolly@baltsun.com

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