Corbett Primary Challenger to Stay on Ballot

PennLive reports: “Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt has ordered that conservative insurgent-turned-gubernatorial candidate Robert Guzzardi stays on the ballot in the May 20 Republican primary. Guzzardi, from Montgomery County, is not seen as a major threat to Corbett. But he promises to run a noisy campaign that could embarrass Corbett from the right at a time when the incumbent would love nothing more than to be consolidating his GOP support.”

Katz Pledges $77 Million for Inquirer, Daily News

Businessman and co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer Lewis Katz, center, walks to Judge Patricia McInerney's courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at City Hall in Philadelphia. McInerney is scheduled to hear arguments over who should control The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Businessman and co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer Lewis Katz, center, walks to Judge Patricia McInerney’s courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at City Hall in Philadelphia. McInerney is scheduled to hear arguments over who should control The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

CBS Philly reports that minority owner Lewis Katz has pledged to pay at least $77 million to acquire the Inquirer and Daily News outright. The pledges emerged during testimony Tuesday as a Delaware judge tries to decide the process by which the papers will be sold.

Lewis Katz promises to match rival owner George Norcross’ $77-million minimum bid. Katz and co-owner Gerry Lenfest favor a public, open, sealed bid. Katz says that will drive up the price, rather than “bluffing, starting low and then raising bids.”

Norcross, who leads a majority owner group of three, wants a private auction limited to the current owners, and the Newspaper Guild, if deemed qualified, with ascending back and forth bidding.

Of course, that $77 million would represent an increase from the $55 million the owners jointly paid in 2012 for the newspapers and Philly.com. It does raise a question: Does anybody think the value of those properties has increased by $22 million in the last two years?

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Comcast Today: Washington Post Cautiously Endorses Merger

Today’s Comcastic headlines:

Washington Post cautiously endorses Comcast-Time Warner merger: Some merger supporters overstate the extent of competition the cable industry faces. At the moment, there are few broadband services as attractive as the wired connections cable companies sell. That might change, but it is not clear how fast and in what way. Merger defenders also downplay the conflicts of interest that might encourage firms such as Comcast to promote their products on the wires they own, about which critics are speculating. That is not grounds to take the severe step of blocking a proposed merger. But it is reason for federal regulators to keep a close eye on what cable companies, still huge players in how we communicate and consume culture, end up doing to competitors and upstarts — and to set clear conditions that allow a crackdown, if necessary. (Washington Post)

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Interview: Pulitzer Winner Inga Saffron Watches Philly Grow

Inga Saffron. Photo: Bradley Maule

Inga Saffron. Photo: Bradley Maule

Truth be told, Inga Saffron seemed a little embarrassed about appearing on Philly Mag’s list of the city’s 75 most-powerful people. (The issue is on newsstands now.) “So far I have not succeeded in bending anybody to my will,” she emailed when we requested this interview.

But then Saffron on Monday won a Pulitzer Prize for her writing as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic. The award citation said she “blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise,” and that sounds about right, even if she hasn’t bent anybody to her will.

Saffron talked with Philly Mag last week about architecture criticism, the late-arriving triumph of urbanism, and her fondness for Philadelphia. Some excerpts:

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Inga Saffron Wins a Pulitzer Prize

She’d been a finalist several times, now the award is hers: Inky architecture critic Inga Saffron has been awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in criticism. The citation:

Awarded to Inga Saffron of The Philadelphia Inquirer for her criticism of architecture that blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise.

We at Philly Mag sometimes like to have fun with Saffron’s particular way of viewing the world — but Philadelphia would be poorer without her commentary. For some of us new to town, reading Saffron’s critiques have offered insight into what makes Philly Philly, in terms of culture and history, that simple thumbs-up thumbs-down reviews of buildings couldn’t do on their own. Congratulations to her.

(Oh, and Saffron is featured on Philly Mag’s list of the city’s 75 most powerful people. Check it out on newsstands now!)

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