Ronald Lauder, the Estee Lauder cosmetics empire heir and president of the World Jewish Congress, has given up his half of the Nana 10 news and entertainment website for free.
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Following several months of negotiations and staff layoffs at the website, Lauder agreed to transfer his 50% interest in Nana 10, without financial compensation, to the Channel 10 commercial television station, which already owned the other half of the Internet venture. Content from Channel 10 is featured on the site.
Until the end of last year, Lauder had a stake in Channel 10, but parted ways with the station after having funded its operations to the tune of 35 million shekels ($10 million). In addition to the indirect interest that he had in Nana 10 by virtue of his stake in Channel 10, last year Lauder acquired the 50% interest in the website through JCS, Jerusalem Capital Studios, of which he is the sole owner. The news studios of Channel 10 remain at JCS in Jerusalem.
Nana 10 has been losing about 10 million shekels a year and has been run by Lauder’s representatives, Michal Grayevsky and Avi Balashnikov. Over the past year, the website has shed a significant number of staff members. Channel 10 now intends to merge the digital operations of Nana 10 into its operations, similar to the arrangement between the Mako website and Channel 2’s franchises, Keshet and Reshet.
The country’s Internet ratings committee, which is no longer functioning, ranked Nana 10 the fifth-most-seen Internet site in the country last July, the most recent ratings available. The fact that Lauder handed over his interest in Nana 10 without financial compensation reflects the difficult state of many Israeli content sites that attempt to turn a profit through Internet advertising.