Former Newsweek executive to head up Philadelphia papers

    The new owners of Philadelphia’s two daily newspapers have selected a former Newsweek executive as the publisher and chief executive officer of the paper’s parent company. The creditors, led by a hedge fund, took control of the newspapers after out-bidding a group of local investors this week.

    The new owners of Philadelphia’s two daily newspapers have selected a former Newsweek executive as the publisher and chief executive officer of the paper’s parent company. The creditors, led by a hedge fund, took control of the newspapers after out-bidding a group of local investors this week.

    Readers, industry analysts and employees of the papers wonder about the effect of bankers owning the newspapers.

    But suburban Philadelphia native Gregory Osberg and former Inquirer publisher Bob Hall are filling the top two posts, calming those fears.

    Rick Edmonds is the media business analyst for the Poynter Institute.

    Edmonds says it’s not the first time the hedge fund Angelo, Gordon, has taken over newspapers.

    “These guys are smart enough to know that you just don’t plop a New York banker into the publisher’s chair and expect things to work out. So they go for expertise within the field,” says Edmonds.

    The 52-year-old Osberg has both a publishing and high-tech backround. He recently served as the C-E-O of Buzzwire, a company that provides online content for mobile phones. While Bob Hall brings a more traditional newspaper approach.

    Edmonds says that’s not to say the new owners will want to recoup their investments and make cuts.

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