‘Baltimore Jewish Times’ Parent Files for Bankruptcy

By: E&P Staff

Baltimore Jewish Times parent Alter Communications said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday, but promised uninterrupted publication of the weekly.

Alter said it intended to reorganize its debts, which include a $362,000 legal judgment awarded to its former printer, H.G. Roebuck & Son. Roebuck had printed the Jewish Times for nearly five decades, according to Alter’s announcement.

According to Alter President, Publisher and CEO Andrew A. Buerger, the judgment arose from a contract dispute with the printer in 2008.

“While we were streamlining our business, having furloughs and layoffs, and just trying to deal with the reeling economy and a print media meltdown, we discovered that our largest vendor, a company with which we’d had a 50-year business relationship, was charging us 60% above market rate,” Buerger said in a prepared statement.

According to Alter, it tried to renegotiate terms of the contract, which was effective for another two years. Alter switched printers, and Roebuck sued for $1.6 million and was awarded $362,000 in damages.

“Here’s the headline: we’re not going anywhere,” Buerger said. “Our family and our company have been deep in the fabric of this community for five generations, and we are committed to continuing that relationship.”

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