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Friday, April 18, 2014

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It is some seven weeks since I announced the closure of the print edition of The CJN after June 21. We chose that timing to protect our staff. However, we then made a commitment that the board of directors would strive to avoid what was then staring us in the face. None of us knew whether we would succeed.

We have worked very hard to bring clarity to our position and to chart a course. We wanted to save the newspaper, in Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere. The community told us – the independent, voluntary board – to find a way.

Setbacks were encountered, but all of us continued as promised, without pause.

Many community members in Toronto and Montreal committed to “guarantee” our success, if there was a viable business plan. Many subscribers and non-subscribers have offered to pay substantial increases in the annual subscription amount. Advertisers, and some who have not recently advertised, have told us that they are prepared to re-engage. Donations have even been offered.

Our recent adviser, to whose involvement I referred last week, has made recommendations and taken actions that have refined the picture of our business. While we are still not in a position to declare with certainty that we have reached out goal, we have made some necessary but difficult structural changes in our operations. These have been put in place with a view toward viability.

Next week is decision time.

If we are able to produce a practical plan by then, if our guarantors agree that it is workable, if new subscription rates are immediately accepted, if new subscribers come on board and if advertisers rally behind us, we will have succeeded.

So many of you have told us that this newspaper is a community asset. It will only remain as a living asset if subscribers and advertisers then participate personally and quickly.

The board renews its commitment to extend every effort to preserve The CJN.

Don Carr, President

The Canadian Jewish News

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