Mid-Atlantic Media, publisher of Washington Jewish Week and Baltimore Jewish Times, announced today a new affiliation with the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Jewish community news staple is the second-oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the U.S. with a presence in 21,000 households each week. Under the new partnership, Mid-Atlantic Media will take over the production and editorial responsibilities of the paper. All reporting will remain local, as it has throughout the paper’s storied history. Ownership of the paper will remain with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia with Steven Rosenberg as the general manager and publisher’s representative.
Financial considerations prompted the deal, according to Rosenberg. The paper reportedly lost significant sums annually, but was able to continue publishing through the support of the federation.
“As stewards of our Jewish community, it is our responsibility to ensure the future viability of the Exponent, and enhance the Exponent’s increasingly popular digital platform including JewishExponent.com,” said Rosenberg.
Though production will go through Mid-Atlantic Media’s Baltimore office, Rosenberg stressed that editorial, circulation, marketing, accounting and sales will remain in Philadelphia. There will be no gap in coverage or newspaper delivery during the transition.
“Our reporters are still going to be living and working in the 19103 zip code,” said Rosenberg. “Our office is staying the same; we’re not going anywhere.”
To position the Jewish Exponent for future success, Rosenberg said, 15 of 27 positions were eliminated. Impacted staffers were given severance packages based on the length of their employment and their names were made available to Mid-Atlantic Media for potential rehire.
Joshua Runyan, editorial director for Mid-Atlantic Media, has been named editor-in-chief. Runyan, who spent four years as a reporter and news editor at the Jewish Exponent, said, “This is an incredible opportunity for the Jewish Exponent and for Mid-Atlantic Media. The Exponent will emerge a better publication with more writers covering the vibrant community that calls the Greater Philadelphia area home.
“At Mid-Atlantic Media, we believe in building and strengthening Jewish community and ensuring a home for our hometown Jewish publications is a key part of realizing that vision,” he added.
“Over the last 20 years, I’ve held the Jewish Exponent in such high regard that it is going to be an absolute pleasure partnering to elevate its quality,” said Craig Burke, CEO of Mid-Atlantic Media.