BY DENISE CLAY/ When Philadelphia Inquirer editor William Marimow was fired from his job at the Baltimore Sun, it took him a while to get the message.
It took him a week, in fact.
According to reports, Marimow continued to come to the Sun for a week after his termination, refusing to move out of the office he used to occupy and requiring his replacement to work in a newsroom cubicle. While there, he accepted condolences from staffers, made calls, and did the equivalent of putting his hands over his ears and saying “lalalalala” when folks reminded him that, well, he no longer worked there.
On Monday, Marimow was fired from the Inquirer. Publisher Bob Hall said the move was made because of the standard “philosophical differences”. According to a story in Philadelphia magazine that I’m sure Marimow has printed out by now, the editor refused to make several personnel changes Hall wanted, was slow working on the paper’s redesign, and did a few other things that bring the word “insubordination” into the conversation
(The Philly Mag article was comprised of the paper trail that Hall was forming to justify firing Marimow. The words “legal action” have already been uttered here. More on that in a moment….)
Marimow was fired shortly after the morning meeting at the Inky, at about 11:30 a.m.
He was still there when Hall called a newsroom staff meeting to discuss the changes at 2 p.m.
And to tell you just how crazy this whole thing got on Monday, Marimow was the one who assigned the story of his firing to Inquirer politics reporter Thomas Fitzgerald.
But if I went to the Inky and saw him still sitting in the lobby, I wouldn’t be surprised and here’s why.
The firing has caused a rift in the ownership group that owns the Inky. While New Jersey powerbroker George Norcross has sided with Hall in approving Marimow’s firing, two other members of the ownership group, Lewis Katz and Gerry Lenfest, see things differently.
It’s this difference in opinion that Marimow is banking on, according to those in the know. He thinks his firing will be reversed because not all of the owners are on board.
Personally, I’d just leave. The Inquirer is still on the hook for Marimow’s salary until April 2014. (They brought him back to the paper in April 2012 … after the previous ownership fired him.) I’d take that money, sit in my den, write books and head back to the University of Arizona.
But he’s not gonna do that. From what I’m hearing, Marimow is looking at his legal options.