Israel's Maariv paper sold to hardline publisher

AP News
Posted: Sep 20, 2012 1:38 PM
Israel's Maariv paper sold to hardline publisher

JERUSALEM (AP) — One of Israel's main daily newspapers has been sold, placing the future of its 2,000 employees in jeopardy.

Israeli businessman Nochi Dankner sold the Hebrew-language Maariv for $19 million on Thursday. The new owner, Shlomo Ben-Tzvi, is the publisher of a hardline religious newspaper. He has said he will likely keep only 300 of Maariv's current employees.

Maariv was first published in 1948 with the establishment of the Israeli state. It was once the country's largest paper, but in recent years it has fallen behind Yediot Ahronot and Israel Hayom, the free daily, funded by the hawkish Jewish-American billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Hundreds of Maariv employees protested against the sale Thursday. They said they will go on strike and wowed not to publish the newspaper on Tuesday.