What Will David Suissa’s Presidential Role Mean For The Jewish Journal?

Perhaps David Suissa will be able to tip the Jewish Journal more towards the political center instead of primarily hanging out on the left? Perhaps he will make the newspaper more Orthodox friendly? Or perhaps his expertise will be probably seen in matters of marketing?

I suspect that David Suissa has some exciting plans for the newspaper, and in particular its online operations, will will have increasing importance relative to print as the years go by.

Here’s the press release:

TRIBE Media Corp. announced today that marketing guru, writer and community leader David Suissa has joined the organization as President of TRIBE Media Corp. and The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.

TRIBE Media Corp. has also named current Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.

“David Suissa is a dream partner,” Eshman said. “He combines a deep marketing background with a passion for Judaism, our community and our mission.”

“Rob Eshman and I will join with a great staff to reinvent the community paper as the most comprehensive, far-reaching and efficient Jewish voice in Los Angeles and, digitally, in the world,” Suissa said. “There’s no more important cause in my book than the spread of Jewish values and ideas, and the most natural vehicle for that is a high-quality, independent community paper like The Jewish Journal and its Web site, JewishJournal.com.”

Suissa and Eshman will build on the success of JewishJournal.com to further expand its media reach in the digital world. “There’s no question that the future for global reach is in digital,” Suissa said. “At the same time, Rob and I understand that a local community paper with great content can play an essential role in strengthening Jewish communities.”

Suissa founded and ran a highly successful advertising agency, SuissaMiller, a $300 million marketing firm named “Agency of the Year” by USA Today, with clients including Heinz, Dole, McDonald’s, Princess Cruises, Charles Schwab and Acura. Suissa sold the agency in 2005 to devote more time to the Jewish world.

Suissa is also founder of OLAM magazine, and for the past five years has been writing a popular weekly column in The Jewish Journal called “Live in the Hood.” His new book, “Don’t Get Me Started: A Collection of Columns on Life, Israel and the Jewish World,” will be released next month.

TRIBE Media Corp., a California-based nonprofit, publishes The Jewish Journal, the only Jewish newspaper serving the 600,000-strong Jewish community of Los Angeles, as well as JewishJournal.com, the largest Jewish news Web site in North America, and TRIBE magazine, serving the West San Fernando Valley, Conejo, Simi, Malibu, Ventura and Santa Barbara areas. This fall, TRIBE Media Corp. will introduce JewishJournal, the world’s first Jewish news app for the iPad.

Hiring Suissa is the latest bold step the 25-year-old community newsweekly has undertaken to meet the challenges facing community newspapers. A new group of philanthropists led by Peter Lowy, joint CEO of The Westfield Group, and Art Bilger, Managing Member of Shelter Capital Partners, has overseen a growth plan that includes fundraising, new revenue streams and strategic investment.

“David’s expertise will only increase The Jewish Journal’s ability to help businesses and organizations reach our great readership,” Lowy said.

Already, the growth-oriented strategy has brought the paper accolades. The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s English-language daily, called The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles “truly cutting edge in pursuing a 21st century platform mix.” Los Angeles Times media critic James Rainey wrote in a column that the paper is successfully meeting the tough challenges posed by the economy and the general media market.

“If [The Journal’s] experience holds lessons for other ethnic and religious-oriented publishers,” Rainey wrote, “it’s that you can do good by being good.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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