The Baltimore Jewish Times, which has been published continuously since 1919, is in danger of folding after a U.S Bankruptcy Court ruled that Alter Communications, the company than owns both the Jewish Times and Style magazine, had failed to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and appointed an independent trustee to run the company.
The move comes almost two years after Alter initially filed for bankruptcy amid a dispute with its printer, H.G. Roebuck and Sons, Inc. The dispute goes back even several years before that filing, with countless twists and turns. The history of the dispute—before the events of the past two weeks—is well chronicled here.
In a statement posted to its website on Saturday, the Jewish Times' publishers seemed confident that the weekly would continue to be published under new ownership.
The Baltimore Jewish Times will be in subscribers’ mailboxes and on newsstands throughout the community on Friday, March 23, 2012, just as it has been every Friday for the past 93 years, despite a judge’s decision to appoint a trustee to handle the sale and distribution of the assets of its parent company, Alter Communications. The company wants readers, advertisers and the community to know that its employees remain on the job and that the JT, Style magazine and its other titles will continue to be published and distributed without interruption.
Alter has sufficient funds and receivables on the books to pay essential expenses and continue publishing while the trustee quickly arranges a sale to one of several potential buyers standing ready to acquire the company.
The Jewish Times' current owners, however, have no say in what the trustee will do with Alter's assets. The trustee may decide to sell the magazine's assets to a buyer looking to continue publishing it—as Washington Jewish Week publisher WJW Group LLC has said it may be willing to do—or he/she may decide to break up the assets.