Gerry Lenfest has spent much of the last decade giving his fortune away for worthy causes. So maybe it’s no surprise that when he finally sealed his complete ownership of Interstate General Media this week, Lenfest ended up sounding like Philly’s major newspapers were another one of his philanthropic enterprises
“I’ve given a lot of money away,” he told the Daily News. “But I can’t think of any cause that we support that’s more important than the support of the newspapers.”
Lenfest’s actions also matched the look of a man who isn’t anticipating great profit. He’s setting up a corporation that will continue to oversee the papers “just in case I kick the bucket,” and says he’ll create a board of directors composed of five to seven community leaders. That sounds more like the governance of a trust than a multi-million-dollar business.
All of which raises the question: Why not just follow these ideas to their natural conclusion and formally turn the Inquirer and Daily News into non-profit enterprises?