Just because the owner dies, that does not mean that the next person, will not be able to do the job. When you think of the owner dying in a company, you still keep the legacy of that person a live because it was their project, that they wanted to thrive on for success.
The way I see it, the Philadelphia Inquirer will be sold again relatively soon. This newspaper is one of the most daily circulated U.S. News sources, one of the oldest surviving U.S. Newspapers, and has the distinction of 15 or so Pulitzer prizes. This sort of prominent background tends to make investors and potential business partners salivate. Previous successes tend to mean future profits. Even in this more digital age, these sorts of entrenched and respected cultural aspects (a Newspaper backed with longevity, prizes and recognition) tend to continue doing well as businesses despite the tumult of ownership tragedies. The only way to keep the business strong, and the culture behind this Inquirer alive is to turn the page with a new owner and keep reading forward!
Newspapers are a dying industry, at least the print version is. Whoever takes over ownership of the paper will likely look at sell it unless they are dead set at joining the industry because they are passionate about it and think it can succeed. I expect they will sell it off to either someone already deeply invested in the media market or someone who believes that they can re-establish the former importance of the paper.
With his son at the helm I do not believe there will be another sale. His son really appreciated his father's legacy so I believe he will fight hard to keep the newspaper in the family. The other business partner also has a stake and I do not believe he wanted to see the paper sold either.