Perelman invests in new Philly newspaper: UPDATE

Raymond Perelman confirms the veteran Bala Cynwyd-based industrial investor and donor to Penn Medicine has made an investment in Region's Business, a weekly "Journal of Business and Politics" started in a Plymouth Meeting office by former Philadelphia Metro publisher James McDonald last summer.

UPDATE / Perelman's statement: “I have chosen to make a substantial investment in Region’s Business newspaper.

"Even in these tough economic times, there is always a place for strong and motivated journalism.  I am confident that Region’s Business will successfully continue its mission of uncovering issues that affect all Pennsylvanians.

"The recent trend towards alternative forms of media has only heightened the need for a renewed focus on competent and credible investigative reporting. My personal experience has taught me that the public deserves honest and complete reporting and we intend to continue to provide that at Region’s Business newspaper.” 

EARLIER: McDonald and Perelman won't say how much Perelman invested. RegionsBusiness, written by freelancers and edited by a staff headed by Karl Smith, formerly of AOL's Philadelphia Patch Web site and Calkins Media's Web site, "will expand circulation" by sending free papers to targeted readers, boosting circulation and advertising efforts, and adding a mobile app, McDonald told me. 

The paper's "investigative reporting will focus primarily on state and local government," McDonald added.

McDonald published Philadelphia Metro, a free daily distributed at Septa stations, in 2000-04, and later published Journal newspaper in Washington, D.C., before selling the businss to Philip Anschutz's Examiner network, among his other news business ventures.

"We think the mix of public policy and business is the right mix to reach a mix of influencers and senior executives in the area," McDonald told me. He aims to be "non-partisan" but also "business-friendly." He says he hopes to boost circulation to 17,500, which would be "significantly above the Philadelphia Business Journal," owned by American City Business Journals.

The weekly Journal -- a subscriber-paid publication -- has an Audit Bureau of Circulation print volume of 12,540 a week, and reaches 20 times that number through "our Web site, social media, events" and other contacts, says Journal publisher Lyn Kremer. "We've been in the businss long enough to know not to worry about the other guy," she told me. "We're moving forward, opening multiple revenue streams, doing new things."