Instead, Marimow informed 15 of his top editors of the impending leadership change at a management meeting. Osberg said that he wants a newsroom leader with a strong background in print and digital journalism.
"The new CEO has the absolute prerogative to select an editor, and Greg has exercised his prerogative," Marimow said in a brief telephone interview. "It's a prerogative I understand and respect."
"Bill has made the Inquirer a better newspaper and we're excited that he will stick around and help us take it to the next level," Osberg said.
Marimow was a celebrated reporter at the Inquirer in the 1970s and '80s, winning both his Pulitzers for exposing abuse by the Philadelphia police. He left in 1993 for top jobs at the Baltimore Sun and National Public Radio.
He returned as the top editor in late 2006, after a group of local investors led by Brian P. Tierney purchased the Inquirer and Daily News from the McClatchy Co. for more than $500 million.
The new owners of the newspapers and Philly.com are a group of 32 hedge funds and other investment firms led by Angelo, Gordon & Co. and Alden Global Capital, both based in New York City, which held most of the newspapers' secured debt.
The group bid $105 million in cash last month to buy virtually all the assets of the company.
Osberg, former president of Newsweek magazine, will appear on the mastheads of both newspapers tomorrow as publisher and CEO. Bob Hall, who was publisher for 13 years under Knight-Ridder, will be chief operating officer.