After weeks of consternation about the future of Alter Communications, which publishes the 93-year-old Baltimore Jewish Times and Style magazine, the company was sold this morning in bankruptcy court for $1.26 million—far more than earlier estimates—to Route 95 Publications, LLC, owners of the Washington Jewish Week. The new owners promised to keep the JT focused on Baltimore, and hoped to earn the trust of the Jewish community here.
Route 95 principal Louis Mayberg told The Sun that the JT's readers should expect "Baltimore-based reporters covering Baltimore-based issues... We will have to earn their trust and respect."
The sale capped a hour-long three-horse bidding war for Alter that pushed the sale price far higher than estimates of $750,000. The magazine's former printer and creditor, H.G. Roebuck & Son, Inc., opted out after it's highest bid of $905,000 was surpassed. The bidding continued between Route 95 and locally-based group Baltimore Community Publishing, LLC, led by Dr. Steve Rifkin. When Route 95 bid 1.26 million, Rifkin threw in the towel and, referring to Route 95, said "These gentlemen just bought a paper. I hope they do a good job not just for Washington, but for Baltimore."