Struggling Israeli newspaper Maariv announced Sunday that it will lay off all of its printing staff, in an attempt to salvage the cash-strapped publication and prevent its closure. The decision was agreed upon by the daily’s trustees and union representatives as well as the management, led by owner Shlomo Ben-Tzvi.
According to the agreement, the management will dismiss some 50 print workers in the coming days, and will fire an additional 20-30 journalists in the future.
Ben-Tzvi, the paper’s controlling shareholder, also agreed to pay the trustees NIS 9 million (some $2.5 million) and forgive debt owed to him by the publication. In return, Ben-Tzvi will receive full control of the newspaper.
The agreement further stated that the paper’s offices, currently stationed in Tel Aviv, will be moved to Jerusalem.
The paper, one of four mass-market, Hebrew-language dailies in Israel, has slogged through several rounds of cutbacks in the last year; it stopped production for a day in November when workers went on strike over layoffs.
Ben-Tzvi — also the owner of Makor Rishon — purchased the failing paper last year and, in order to keep it afloat, laid off the majority of the paper’s 2,000-odd workers. He also ordered pay cuts for those staff members whose salary was above NIS 15,000 ($4,000) per month.