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SA Organisations

Guptas to buy SA Jewish Report

  • Esther
In a move that shocked the Jewish establishment last week, the Board of the SA Jewish Report newspaper announced the sale of this publication to the Gupta family.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Mar 16, 2016

Says Non-Executive Chairman Howard Sackstein: “The Guptas have a number of interests in media in South Africa including The New Age newspaper and ANN7, one of the most entertaining TV news channels in the world. They felt that the SA Jewish Report would fit perfectly into their stable of premium brand comedy news channels.”

The sale of the publication generated a massive R150 million for the newspaper. Vice-chairman of the SA Jewish Report, Benjy Porter, told the publication that negotiations had been long, laborious and intense, but ultimately, over a hot spicy kosher curry, we got a great deal for the community.

“We could either go to Mauritius with the money or we could put some of it back into good causes and invest in the future of the community, so we have decided to establish a Chazonis training school with the profits generated,” Porter told the Jewish Report.

The Chazonis School to be known as the “Bertie Lubner Academy for Liturgical and Cantorial Opera”, is named after one of the founding members of the SA Jewish Report newspaper and will be based at Beyachad.

“We have had to get the Zionist Federation to move out of the building to accommodate the Chazonis Institute”, says Lubner. “But they have agreed to move their offices to space allocated to them at Wits by Professor Adam Habib.”

The Chazonis Academy will be run by Jewish Report Board member Herschel Jawitz who will be assuming the role of CEO and Chief Choir Master on a part-time basis. “Chazonis and property are not so different, as we tell our estate agents: ‘You have to sing for your dinner,’” says Jawitz.

The deal was the mastermind of newspaper board member Dina Diamond, who told the Report: “The Guptas and the Jewish community have always had close ties. When Mark Pamensky went to go and work for the Guptas we knew that a deal was close, and now with the protection of the Guptas, we know that we will have the full support of the government.

“Already the Guptas have secured the publication of government tenders in the SA Jewish Report which will generate an additional R10 million per month in revenue.”

Long standing board member Herby Rosenberg was very instrumental in ensuring the complete editorial independence of the newspaper. “We wanted to make sure that the newspaper will remain completely independent, so we have appointed Iqbal Survé and Mohammed Desai to the Board. Their role is to ensure that all of our material is always balanced and fair,” says Rosenberg.

Vanessa Valkin will remain on as editor of the publication but each edition will also host a weekly supplement, once a month for the Muslim community, once a month for the Hindu community, once a month for the Catholics and once a month for the Zion Christian Church.

“We are so delighted to turn the SA Jewish Report into a proper inter-faith publication,” commented Valkin. “We see this as a model for sustainable media throughout South Africa. We are in discussions with Kathy Kaler to have ChaiFM join the group. We believe that we can have Muslim Mondays on Chai and Tamil Tuesdays; it will attract so many more advertisers.”

Media and especially newspapers are under enormous financial pressure and rely on advertising and the support of their community to survive. The Board said that the SA Jewish Report, the only national publication of the South African Jewish community, is the perfect vehicle to advertise, given both its national footprint and the high living standards measure of its readers with large disposable incomes. And that’s what made the SA Jewish Report such a remarkable investment for the Guptas.

Says Some Gupta: “We know that with its weekly readership of 42 000 of the hardcopy newspaper and 25 000 monthly online readers, we have the perfect investment and the perfect channel of communication to one of the most influential segments of South Africa. Everyone should be advertising in this publication.”

Some Gupta led the negotiations on behalf of the Gupta family. Jacob Zuma’s half-brother will hold a minority stake in the consortium that now owns the newspaper.

Concludes Howard Sackstein, “The deal is conditional upon only one condition precedent, and that is that all of our readers have a Chag Purim Sameyach.”

 

9 Comments

  1. 9 LJ 16 Mar
    Brilliant but should have been saved for April fools ;)
  2. 8 Jp 16 Mar
    Thank you JR, this must be one of the best articles I've read of yours!

    @LJ
    I think they chose to use it Jest before Purim which is an Adar kind of April fools
  3. 7 Montlasky 17 Mar
    .....and Zuma will be the janitor?
  4. 6 Rodney Mazinter 17 Mar
    At the very least I hope that Howard was offered, and accepted, a government cabinet position.
  5. 5 David blend 18 Mar
    Maybe now , the editor can also land her private jet at Swartkop airport base. good luck V V
  6. 4 Choni 18 Mar
    No joke about this. The way the Diaspora is going (according to Hashem's will), all Jewish institutions outside of Israel will be closing down while the ingathering of our people to their rightful place will be taking place.
  7. 3 Rocha Ita 19 Mar
    I am aghast at the idea that a Jewish and Zionist newspaper is being taken away from the Jewish community and is being handed over to a company with an unclear agenda. What can we now expect, anti-Israel sentiments, anti- Semitic  undertones. Where is the conscience of those involved. Do they really think there will be no hidden agenda. What a Shame that we have been sold out so surreptiously.
    It's okay, Rocha, had you read the story through you would have een the last line which read: "Concludes Howard Sackstein, “The deal is conditional upon only one condition precedent, and that is that all of our readers have a Chag Purim Sameyach.” It was a hoax story. I really do not think you have to ever worry about this board ever selling the community out - they are passionate publishers to the community   -ONLINE EDITOR
     
  8. 2 Conrad 21 Mar
    So this should now be renamed the South African Gupta Report.
  9. 1 Samuel 22 Mar
    And the hamentashen get curry in them?

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