Jewish News shifting from private ownership to nonprofit model

Christel Deskins

Detroit Jewish News LLC will transfer The Jewish News to a new Michigan limited liability company to be wholly owned by the Detroit Jewish News Foundation, effective Oct. 1. Publisher Arthur Horwitz; Michael Steinhardt, a New York-based investor, hedge fund manager and philanthropist; and Jewish News COO Kevin Browett, are […]

Detroit Jewish News LLC will transfer The Jewish News to a new Michigan limited liability company to be wholly owned by the Detroit Jewish News Foundation, effective Oct. 1.

Publisher Arthur Horwitz; Michael Steinhardt, a New York-based investor, hedge fund manager and philanthropist; and Jewish News COO Kevin Browett, are the current owners of the paper.

The value of the newspaper, and their donation, is being determined with attorneys over the next couple of weeks, said Matt Friedman, a member of the foundation’s board of directors and co-founder of Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications in Farmington Hills.

The foundation’s 15-member board of directors approved the transfer, which includes certain assets and liabilities that are still being determined, on Wednesday.

Taking on oversight of The Jewish News’ ongoing operation is an extension of the role the foundation has held since its 2011 founding. Over the past nine years, it’s shepherded the archives of The Jewish News and its predecessor publication, The Jewish Chronicle, to create a permanent record of the Detroit Jewish community.

The idea of shifting the media outlet’s ownership to the foundation first came up about two years ago as a way to ensure its sustainability, Friedman said, in response to reductions in print advertising revenue, struggles to earn revenue through digital advertising and the migration of audience from print to digital platforms.

The opportunity for multiple revenue streams — advertising, subscriptions, individual philanthropy and grants — is a more sustainable model, Friedman said.

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