Minority owner Lewis Katz, who brought the lawsuit, testified under oath that he believed it appropriate for an owner to be able to influence the operations of the newsroom, including the hiring and firing of journalists, with no set standards for how far or how often they can reach in to influence coverage. That would render the non-interference pledge meaningless because the power to fire is the
power to influence coverage. Given that Nancy Phillips, Katz’ girlfriend, testified under oath that she created an “official version” of how Marimow was hired, it is difficult to understand how they can continue to assert they are protecting the ‘integrity’ of journalism.
We believe today’s decision is wrong and will harm the journalistic independence and operations of the newsroom. In newspapers across the country, it is the Publisher who has the right to make personnel decisions, including the hiring and firing of the editor as Publisher Bob Hall did when he removed Bill Marimow as editor of the Inquirer. The court affirmed that Hall was the Publisher and his authority to remove Marimow should have likewise been affirmed.”