"Yediot Ahronot" to axe dozens of journalists

A "Yediot Ahronot" executive told "Globes" that Sheldon Adelson's freesheet "Israel Today" is destroying Israeli journalism.

The wave of layoffs in the media industry is not passing over the "nation's newspaper": Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" is about take streamlining measures, including the firing of dozens of journalists, including senior correspondents and editors. As a cost-cutting measure, the recently launched "Briut" health supplement will only be offered to subscribers. Sources inform ''Globes'' that the paper will do the same with its "Maslul" travel supplement.

At this stage, dozens of journalists will also probably be fired from the paper's website "ynet" and its economics supplement "Calcalist".

A top "Yediot Ahronot" executive told "Globes" today, "We're on the eve of very hard and major cutbacks at "Yediot Ahronot". Every part of the group will be affected. This is it; we've reached the red line. There is no more fat at "Yediot Ahronot". To be realistic, I don’t see this as an interim period. I hope it's the last cut."

The executive said that the decision to fire journalists was due the lack of alternatives and the inability to keeping the "fleet of correspondents and editors that we had until now. Every one of the fired correspondents is good, and some of them have been here for years."

He added that the decision on the cutbacks and layoffs was a direct consequence of the freesheet "Israel Today", owned by US billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The executive said, "You must know that 'Israel Today' is destroying Israeli journalism not only at the professional level, with its embarrassing editorial conduct, but also at the economic level. 'Israel Today' is not managed in an economic way. They are breaking the market with ads at zero cost, and the result is that the other papers cannot survive because the price of ads is constantly falling."

He added, "'Israel Today' has finished 'Ma'ariv', and it is now finishing 'Haaretz'. The fact a billionaire has come here and pours money on to the streets, destroying newspapers like 'Ma'ariv' and 'Haaretz' is an issue that has not received sufficient discussion. Adelson has simply brought ruin to the Israeli newspaper market, and the Israeli politicians who benefit from its flattering coverage, have allowed this unprecedented phenomenon to occur for partisan reasons, which as I said, has destroyed this market."

"Israel Today" declined to respond to the remarks.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 30, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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