YEDIOTH AHARONOTH, afternoon daily newspaper founded in Tel Aviv in 1939 by Nahum Komerov. The following year the newspaper came into the possession of a printer named Alexander *Mozes. Its editorial operation was administered by Alexander's father, Yehudah, who took on the title of publisher, and brother, Noah. The paper consisted of mostly two pages daily, and had a circulation of only 30,000. Facing heavy financial losses, the family sold half of the newspaper's stock to *Mapai in 1949. But its major crisis had occurred a year earlier in February 1948, when its editor, Dr. Azriel *Carlebach, and most of its journalistic and administrative staff walked out overnight, partly because of excessive intervention by management in editorial matters, and a lack of clear demarcation between editorial content and advertising interests. The group formed their own newspaper, *Maariv, to be owned and run by journalists. Maariv grew to became Israel's largest newspaper with an estimated circulation of 200,000. Rebuilding Yedioth Aharonoth, Yehudah Mozes appointed Dr. Herzl *Rosenblum as editor, with responsibility for the op-ed pages and a daily signed editorial which appeared for over 40 years until his retirement in 1986. Dov *Yudkovsky, the managing editor for news, conceived the newspaper to be the "the people's newspaper," with both a tabloid appearance and editorial matter of interest to readers from the professional classes. With the death of Yehudah in 1955, Noah Mozes became publisher. By the end of the 1960s, Yedioth Aharonoth drew even with Maariv in its circulation war, and in the mid-1970s took over the lead, maintaining its position since. Its publication schedule gradually moved to the early morning. By the end of the century, the newspaper had achieved a very high circulation: a 2005 Teleseker survey reported that 42% of Israelis read it daily, and 54% the Friday weekend issue.
The newspaper's financial structure is centralized, with its company stock comprising 100 basic shares and 1,400 regular shares. The basic share stock was divided between family members. Following Noah Mozes' death in a traffic accident in 1986, his son, Arnon ("Noni"), became publisher and sought to monopolize the running of the newspaper and its associated operations by buying out the stock of other family members. Dov Yudkovsky, who was Yehudah Mozes' cousin, was fired, and he moved to Maarriv where he became editor. In the 1990s the newspaper became involved in the so-called wiretapping affair with Maariv. Editor Moshe Vardi and assignments editor Ruth Ben Ari received suspended sentences. Vardi was reinstated afterward and continued as editor until his retirement in 2004, upon which Rafi Ginat, an Israel Television journalist, was appointed editor.
In 2000 the newspaper created an Internet website, Y-Net, with a separate reporting staff. In 2005 it had 3.3 million users monthly. The newspaper's growth in the 1980s and 1990s extended to a chain of 17 local newspapers, special interest publications including women's magazines, shares in the Channel 2 television network, and book publishing.
[Yoel Cohen (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.