Israel Hayom, the free Hebrew daily owned by U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, began printing a portion of its print run on Wednesday at a plant in Bat Yam that it recently bought.
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The plant had previously been owned by the Maariv daily, which in a separate development will start printing a portion of its print production at Haaretz group’s printing facility east of Netanya, where Israel Hayom also used to be printed. Israel Hayom bought its Bat Yam plant about two months ago for about 80 million shekels ($22.7 million). Over the past month, the newspaper invested additional sums to upgrade equipment and recruit staff, some of whom had worked there in the past. Sources at the paper said the plan is to gradually increase production at the facility.
The paper issued a statement calling the beginning of print production at its own plant an important milestone “reflecting the newspaper’s success with the public [and] the continuous growth in demand for copies, solidifying its status as the most read newspaper in Israel.”
Maariv and its sister newspaper, Makor Rishon, will begin printing some copies at the Haaretz plant while also continuing print runs at a plant operated by Globes, a business daily. Maariv received approval from the Antitrust Commission for the plan to print at the Haaretz plant. In approving the step, the commission noted that by printing at Haaretz’s Tel Yitzhak facility near Netanya, it was possible that the newspapers might become privy to circulation information regarding the number of copies printed at the site by their competitor.
The commission dismissed any concern in that regard because a portion of Maariv’s printing will continue to be done at the Globes plant. There was also no concern over the risk that the arrangement at the Haaretz plant would lead to cooperation over content.