Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Rumor time -- Israel may get 2nd free daily

The tug-of-war between the two partners who own Israel's free daily "Israeli" is headed in an interesting new direction -- the partner who has been shut out of any control of the paper, American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is on the verge of starting his own free daily. And that new paper would compete against the "Israeli," of which he owns half but is controlled by Shlomo Ben-Zvi. We caution that this is only a rumor, though it has come up a number of times (Haaretz, Poynter) in the past few months. For what it's worth, we're told that Adelson's plan is to buy the struggling Maariv and rebrand it, possibly with a new name, as a free paper to go head to head with the "Israeli."