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Owners of Washington Jewish paper buy Baltimore Jewish Times

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(JTA) — The owners of Washington’s Jewish newspaper submitted the winning bid for The Baltimore Jewish Times at a bankruptcy auction.

Route 95 Publications, LLC, an affiliate of the WJW Group that owns the Washington Jewish Week, said it won Monday’s auction to purchase Alter Communications, the publisher of The Baltimore Jewish Times and Style Magazine. The group’s bid was $1.26 million.

The sale still must be approved by a federal bankruptcy court judge, who reportedly will consider the issue on Thursday.

“The Baltimore Jewish Times is, literally, a significant communal institution and a meaningful player in the world of Anglo-Jewish newspapers," Louis Mayberg, a partner of Route 95 Publications, said in a statement. “We respect that tradition, and we are committed to continue it, and to build upon it.”

Alter Communications went into bankruptcy following an acrimonious legal dispute with its printer that had rendered uncertain the future of The Baltimore Jewish Times, a 93-year-old weekly.

Route 95 Publications was one of three bidders for Alter. The others were Baltimore Community Publishing, LLC, which owns a local sports publication and is led by physician Scott Rifkin, and the printer, H.G. Roebuck & Son Inc., which had won a legal judgment against Alter over breach of contract that led to the bankruptcy.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Alter’s CEO had estimated that the sale would be for between $400,000 and $600,000.

In Monday’s auction, Baltimore Community Publishing bid $1.25 million, while Roebuck bid up to $905,000.

Mayberg said in his statement that while his ownership group anticipated “the development of some efficiencies on the administrative side of the paper, our plan is to keep as many employees of the paper who can help make it better and stronger, and to bring in additional support to help the paper continue to grow and prosper.”

He said his group is “committed to maintaining the high level of journalistic integrity of the Jewish Times” and to it remaining “a Baltimore-based paper.”

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