2 Jewish papers sold in Atlanta, Detroit

Jewish Times family here owned majority


February 12, 2000|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

Waterspout Communications LLC, a Maryland holding company, announced yesterday that it has sold the Detroit Jewish News and the Atlanta Jewish Times.

The papers were acquired by a group headed by Jewish News Publisher Arthur M. Horwitz and Michael H. Steinhardt, a former Wall Street hedge-fund manager.

The two papers were the principal holdings of Waterspout, which was founded by Charles A. Buerger, the late publisher of the Baltimore Jewish Times.

The Buerger family owned a majority of Waterspout. But the Baltimore weekly, founded by Buerger's grandfather in 1919, is not part of the transaction.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The paid circulation of the Detroit Jewish News is 50,000, while the Atlanta Jewish Times has 25,000 subscribers.

"This transaction will enable the Jewish News and the Jewish Times to continue their long record of service to their communities, readers and advertisers," said Horwitz, who has been publisher of the Jewish News since 1986.

No big changes are expected at the Detroit Jewish News, but the paper is discussing increasing its use of color and graphics, said Illana Greenberg, marketing manager of that publication.

Andrew Buerger, who succeeded his father as publisher of the Baltimore Jewish Times, said the sale will allow him to concentrate on Baltimore Jewish Times Inc., which owns the Times, Style Magazine, Jewish Times.com and the Source Book,a guide to Jewish life in Baltimore.

"My vision is to make the Baltimore office a diversified media company taking advantage of certain upscale niches," he said.

Charles Buerger, who died in 1996, headed the group that purchased the Detroit Jewish News in 1984 from its founder, Philip Slomovitz, and the Atlanta Jewish Times in 1989. The transaction includes a Style Magazine in each market.

"The three years following Buerger's death were difficult for his family and business associates, and led to a decision to seek potential buyers for their media holdings, including the Jewish News," Horwitz wrote yesterday in his publisher's "Notebook" column.

Horwitz, a minority owner of Waterspout, previously held management and planning positions at The Sun and was a newsman in New Haven, Conn.

Steinhardt is known for his philanthropic efforts related to Jewish causes, including the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and Hillel.

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