UK Jewish newspaper ‘back to business’ after anonymous bidder saves it from folding

April 23, 2020 by JNS
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The Jewish News in the United Kingdom announced on Wednesday that it “is back” after stating earlier this month that, along with The Jewish Chronicle, it would fold as a result of both the state of print newspapers, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, which has negatively impacted sales and revenue.

In a post on the Jewish News website, the outlet’s editor, Richard Ferrer, wrote that an anonymous bidder that “is poised to purchase the Jewish Chronicle this week … forced a sudden change of plan on the part of our owner Leo Noe, who generously took Jewish News out of liquidation to save jobs and stop it falling into unknown hands.”

“So the good news,” he continued, “at the end of a dramatic week of twists and turns that would make Shakespeare blush is that your Jewish News is back.”

On Monday, Jewish News announced that it will be published on Thursday “as usual and until further notice. Our website continues to be updated throughout the day.”

The publication said it “is funded and talk earlier this month of going into liquidation was to accommodate a merger, which is not currently happening.”

“This week’s Jewish News might be issue 1,155, but to me it feels like number one—signaling the launch of an ambitious new chapter in the newspaper’s history,” wrote Ferrer in his post on Wednesday. “So today I want to restate our commitment to our readers, pledge to campaign on issues and champion causes that affect their daily lives and recommit to celebrating British Jewish life louder, prouder and rowdier than ever before.”

Meanwhile, The Jewish Chronicle, which merged with the Jewish News in February, has been put in liquidation and will receive support from a 10-member consortium that was created a few days after the outlet’s liquidation was announced earlier this month, according to the U.K.-based PressGazette, which listed that the consortium includes Robbie Gibb, the BBC’s former head of political output and an ex-communications director at Number 10, the U.K. prime minister’s residence; broadcaster Jonathan Sacerdoti; and John Woodcook, a former spokesperson for former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The PressGazette also reported that “funding will also be provided by unnamed philanthropic donors from the Jewish community, with the intention of giving the Chronicle and its staff a more sustainable future after years of financial challenges.”

According to the PressGazette, the “offer includes ‘substantial investment of millions of pounds over the next five years,’ a pledge to editorial independence and impartiality, pay all the newspaper’s creditors, including hundreds of journalists, and retain a ‘significant level’ of current staff.”

JNS

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