New reorganization plan floated for Baltimore paper’s parent

(JTA) – A new reorganization plan for Alter Communications, which manages the Baltimore Jewish Times, would see the majority stake in the newspaper go to an investor group.

The investor group would pay $600,000 and receive 80 percent of Alter Communications, which is under bankruptcy protection.

The remaining 20 percent would be divided among the rest of the company’s shareholders, mostly members of the Buerger family, which has published the Baltimore Jewish Times for 92 years.

Under the plan, Andrew Buerger would remain publisher of the newspaper, but the investment group would retain the final say on editorial decisions. Andrew Buerger also would agree to a 10-year no-compete clause.

Alter declared bankruptcy came after the newspaper’s longtime printer, H.G. Roebuck & Son Inc., filed a $1.2 million lawsuit.

The new reorganization plan supersedes one in which Alter ownership would have been divided 55-45 between H.G. Roebuck & Son and Buerger, respectively.

A bankruptcy judge is expected to hear the case in the next two weeks, Buerger told the Baltimore Business Journal.

Since 1996, Alter has sold off Jewish newspapers in Detroit, Atlanta, and Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Fla., as well as Vancouver, British Columbia. The Baltimore Jewish Times has a circulation of more than 50,000, as well as sister publications Style and Chesapeake Life.
 

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