By: Mark Fitzgerald
Lippmans acquire the free-distribution Jewish Sentinel sp.
LONG ISLAND JEWISH World owners Jerome and Naomi Lippman ? whose long and loud protest about a charity-subsidized paper changed the rules of Long Island Jewish newspaper competition ? are the new owners of the Jewish Sentinel.
By purchasing the Sentinel from Florida-based Worrell Enterprises, the Lippmans are now competing in Manhattan ? just as the Manhattan-based Jewish Week has competed on the Jewish World’s Long Island turf.
Further, the purchase comes just as the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, the largest Jewish charity in New York, is mulling how to implement a plan that will allow its Long Island contributors to choose between Jewish Week and the Jewish World.
This plan was intended to allay complaints by publisher and editor in chief Jerome Lippman that the charity was unfairly “subsidizing” Jewish Week through an annual $825,000 program that bought Jewish Week subscriptions and mailed them without additional cost to 82,000 households that contributed $36 or more a year.
Federation defenders of the arrangement with nonprofit Jewish Week argue that the charity recoups a substantial amount of the subscription outlay in year-end rebates and gets other valuable services.
In addition, defenders say, Jewish Week is a cost-effective way to ensure the Federation conveys its messages to contributors.
In its dispute with Jewish Week, the Jewish World was generally supported by two important independent Jewish papers, the Jewish Press, an Orthodox-oriented paper with the biggest circulation, and the Forward.
The dispute came to symbolize the tension in other markets between so-called “Federation” papers, which are subsidized in varying degrees by the charity, and independent Jewish papers.
The Jewish Sentinel had stayed out of the debate as Worrell Enterprises’ South Florida Newspaper Network attempted to duplicate in Manhattan the success it has had with its seven zoned, free-distribution Jewish Journals in South Florida.
Like its Florida counterparts, the Jewish Sentinel is a free-distribution, weekly tabloid. It is distributed in Manhattan neighborhoods with Jewish populations through a combination of honor boxes, apartment drops and racks in stores and synagogues.
The paper, which is audited by Verified Audited Circulation, distributes about 50,000 copies.