Wednesday, January 16, 2019

  • Wednesday, January 16, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The New York Post:
The Forward is stopping — its print editions.

The storied Jewish-American publication is suspending its print operations and plans to lay off about 40 percent of its editorial staff — including Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner — while moving to digital-only.

A print publication for 121 years, The Forward will continue to produce an English-language and a Yiddish-language edition online.

The Forward is eyeing growth among its under-35 readers who prefer to read news online. Currently that segments amounts to a third of total readers.

“The revenue is not really there,” said a source. “They’ve been losing money for years but lately the losses have been more than $5 million a year.”

The publication is owned by The Forward Association, a not-for-profit whose endowment swelled to more than $100 million when the association sold its former headquarters on the Lower East Side as well as the radio station WEVD.
Back in November, Forward writer Jonathan Nathan-Kazis asked people to help him find dirt on Jewish charities - but his own non-profit employer has been throwing away far more money than most of the supposed scandals he has been reporting on in the Jewish world.

That $100 million that the Forward Association used to have? That was in 2001, when it sold WEVD to Disney for $78 million.

As of 2016, its total assets dipped below $40 million, and at the rate of losing over $5 million a year, that means it is now down to probably less than $30 million. (They have not yet filed their 2017 forms, let alone 2018.)

Eisner's compensation of some $250,000 a year will hardly make a dent in the amount The Forward is hemorrhaging.

My back of the envelope estimate is that the annual losses at the Forward will now be trimmed to "only" $3.2 million or so (possibly more if their print subscriptions were a majority of the subscription revenue.)

As far as trying to appeal to more people under 35, I guess we can expect more "journalism" like the literally antisemitic article about the 15 Women You Meet When You Date Jews In New York.



The Forward has already slid into irrelevance. Young Jews who care about Judaism and Israel won't read it, so the new webzine will amp up its articles targeted at its audience of young Jews who hate Israel and Judaism. And why should they want to read an ostensibly Jewish newspaper?

I predict that The Jewish Daily Forward will drop the "Jewish" part within five years.



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