Industry News

Two UK’s most-read Jewish outlets’ merger falls through as both are closing shop

The Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News are about to close and laid off staff

Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News, two UK’s most-read Jewish publications, both released the statement about the launch of the liquidation process in the next few weeks. 

Earlier this year in February the Jewish Chronicle’s owner, the Kessler Foundation, and the owners of the Jewish News, the Noé family, announced their plan to merge, but unable to survive the impact of the current coronavirus crisis, both companies made a decision to lay off their staff and go out of business, according to Guardian. 

A steep decline in advertising and other sources of revenue is putting media companies around the world under extreme financial pressure. Many of them are not able to live through this crisis and are forced to close down.

Jewish Chronicle is the oldest Jewish newspaper first printed back in 1841, with more than 500 thousand monthly online page views. Jewish News, with around 200 thousand monthly online page views, is a London-based Jewish newspaper, founded as a free weekly newspaper in 1997. The two weekly papers had a combined print run of around 40,000. 

On Wednesday, April 8 the The Jewish Chronicle made an announcement about its closure on the website: “With great sadness, the board of the Jewish Chronicle has taken the decision to seek a creditors voluntary liquidation of Jewish Chronicle Newspapers Ltd,”.

According to the statement, the liquidation will be finished in the next 2-3 weeks. It’s not clear if the newspapers and websites will be functioning during the liquidation period. Although Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, wrote in his Twitter that the paper “will be out as usual next week”.

In previous years the Jewish Chronicle has been struggling to meet the revenue targets. In 2018 the media outlet lost £1.57 million, and the year before – nearly £1.19 million.

Last summer, the Jewish Chronicle was saved from the collapse by its owner, the charitable Kessler Foundation. The money was donated by 20 individuals, families and charitable trusts to enable the Kessler Foundation to continue supporting its newspaper.

In February 2020, Jewish Chronicle and Jewish news decided to merge, aiming to secure the financial future of Jewish media and create a strong media brand. The merger has been agreed in principle between the media outlets’ owners. However, the deal has not been finalized. And the process has been interrupted by the world pandemic crisis. 

The Kessler Foundation,a long term investor of the Jewish Chronicle, had run out of money and could not proceed to fund the company. The company’s management is in negotiation with the Kessler Foundation to secure a future for the Jewish Chronicle after the liquidation in some form.

Details on the reasons and processes of the Jewish News liquidation are not yet available to the general public. The Fix will keep following the story.

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