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January 12, 2016

Owner of Philadelphia's Major Media Plans Nonprofit Operating Structure

In an attempt to ensure the permanence and stability of Philadelphia's major news outlets, the owner of the Philadelphia Media Network will donate the company to a newly created foundation, named the Institution for Journalism in New Media, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The media network is the parent company of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com. The current owner, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, plans to start the new nonprofit organization with an endowment of $20 million. The company has changed hands several times in the past decade, emerged from bankruptcy, and lost an owner in a plane crash just days after his purchase.

Operations of the company will remain unchanged. However, the new structure will allow the company to receive grants from the new foundation to finance special journalism projects.

Though the nonprofit structure has been used by American magazines, the Journal reports it is less common for newspapers. In the United States, the Tampa Bay Times, which is owned by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies, has a similar operating structure.