London’s Jewish Chronicle saved from extinction


(JTA) – The Jewish Chronicle of London, the world’s longest running Jewish publication, has been saved from liquidation and transferred to new owners.

A consortium from the Jewish community and beyond has reached an agreement with the paper’s former owners, the Kessler Foundation, to take over The Chronicle “with the ultimate goal of establishing a charitable trust to ensure its long term stability,” editor-in-chief Stephen Pollard wrote in a statement Thursday.

Pollard’s statement is the latest twist in a story that began earlier this month when the Kessler foundation revealed their plans to dissolve the Chronicle due to the economic crisis prompted by the coronavirus.

Leo Noe, the owner of the Jewish News, a competing publication that was supposed to merge with the Chronicle before the crisis hit, also announced that he planned to liquidate his paper.

Both papers were rescued by the consortium led by Robbie Gibb, the BBC’s former head of political programming and a former adviser to former prime minister Theresa May.

Other members include BBC journalist John Ware; broadcaster Jonathan Sacerdoti; Rabbi Jonathan Hughes; John Woodcook, a spokesman for former prime minister Gordon Brown; and former Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross, the Press Gazette reported Tuesday.

The new owners have promised not to interfere with the Chronicle’s editorial independence.

“For the first time in many years we have backers who are committed to investing in journalism and to making the JC and even better and more essential reads,” Pollard wrote.

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