The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday approved the sale of the Israeli daily Maariv to Shlomo Ben Tzvi and Amos Maimon, quashing hopes by the paper’s workers that the court would put the kibosh on the sale and save all their jobs.
Judge Varda Alshech approved the sale by Maariv Holdings Ltd. to the two men.
The paper will be purchased by Ben Tzvi for NIS 80 million and the printing press to Maimon for NIS 60 million. Ben Tzvi, who owns the right-leaning Makor Rishon paper, wants to continue putting out the paper under its current name, Globes reported Monday.
According to a report on Maariv’s website, Ben Tzvi will bring in 450 to 500 of Maariv’s employees, of whom 350 will be correspondents, 50 to 70 will be contract workers via a third-party firm, and 70 to 110 will work in the press. Maimon will print the paper for five years. Reports say Maariv currently employs some 2,000 workers.
Over the last month, employees of the paper have ramped up opposition to the sale of the paper, fearing layoffs.
On Tuesday morning Maariv was published with no news content on its cover and first two inside pages. “We’ve taken advantage of this platform in a different way to turn to you with these simple words,” the only story on the front page read. It was addressed to the paper’s readers and was set against a stark white background. “Sixty-four years after Maariv was founded, it faces the greatest crisis in its history. In the last few weeks we went out into the streets, rallied in the squares, approached the Knesset and spread our message — Maariv’s workers are not expendable.”
Joshua Davidovich contributed to this report