UK’s two main Jewish papers announce liquidation, talk vaguely of future hopes

Jewish News and Jewish Chronicle had previously announced a planned merger, but now say they can’t survive the impact of the coronavirus epidemic in their current forms

The Jewish Chronicle newspaper logo.
The Jewish Chronicle newspaper logo.

Britain’s two major Jewish publications — the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish News — simultaneously announced Wednesday afternoon that they are going into liquidation. However both the titles, which in February had announced plans for a merger, indicated vaguely that they would seek to continue to publish in some form in the future.

For now, their staff have been laid off, and sources at the Jewish Chronicle told the Guardian that staff were informed the parent company had run out of cash and could not continue trading.

Separate similar statements on both the newspapers’ websites said they would not be able to continue to function in their existing forms, and therefore had taken the decision to “seek a creditors voluntary liquidation.”

Despite the “heroic efforts” of their respective editorial and production teams, they said, it had become clear that their businesses “will not be able to survive the impact of the current coronavirus epidemic” in their current forms.

Both publications said they would do their best to continue to publish for the next two or three weeks, and to update their websites.

After that, they said without elaboration, they would be working “to secure a future… after the liquidation.”

UK Jewish News logo

The Jewish Chronicle is the oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world, having been founded in 1841.

The Jewish News, a Times of Israel partner, is a free newspaper established in 1997.

In February, the two titles announced “ambitious plans to merge their businesses to create one of the world’s leading community media brands.”

“The merger has been agreed in principle between the Jewish Chronicle’s owners, the Kessler Foundation, and the owners of the Jewish News, the Noé family,” they said at the time. However, they cautioned, “completion and the signing of a legal agreement is still dependent on necessary funds being raised to support the move.”

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