MAARIV , Israeli daily newspaper published in Tel Aviv. Maariv was founded in February 1948 by journalists who had left *Yedioth Aharonoth following disagreements with its proprietor. The group, led by Dr. Azriel *Carlebach, who became the editor of Maariv, included Aryeh *Dissenchik, Shmuel *Schnitzer, Shalom *Rosenfeld, and David Giladi; it sought to create a newspaper run as a journalistic cooperative. Sixty percent of the paper's equity and 50% of its voting shares were held by journalists. Requiring extra-journalistic financial backing, they turned to investor Oved Ben Ami. Although the cooperative-style journalistic management strengthened motivation through participation it created a cumbersome editorial decision-making process – which eventually contributed to Maariv's losing its position as the country's largest selling newspaper to Yedioth Aharonoth. Originally the newspaper appeared in the late afternoon, but, like Yedioth Aharonoth, over the years it began appearing earlier in the day so that by the 1980s it had become a morning newspaper in all but name. The editorial board reflected a spectrum of political views, if mostly to the right. Until the 1980s, the newspaper was regarded as a mid-market newspaper, catering to a broad readership, with serious in-depth coverage of changing events, but without the intellectual stuffiness which characterized some of the morning daily press. After Carlebach died in 1956, he was replaced by Aryeh Dissenchik, whose wide connections in the political establishment brought the newspaper a slew of exclusive reports. But after Dissenchik's death in 1974, and his replacement by Shalom Rosenfeld, the paper's circulation declined, dropping still further when Shmuel Schnitzer, the paper's widely read columnist, succeeded Rosenfeld in turn. The paper's somewhat paternalistic and patriotic style failed to keep up with the country's changing political mood in the 1970s, and lacked appeal to younger people and the rising Sephardi class. In a vain attempt to halt the circulation decline, Iddo Dissenchik, son of Aryeh Dissenchik, was appointed editor in 1985. A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, Dissenchik had previously been a news editor on the paper and its foreign correspondent in the United States. He introduced a number of changes, including new supplements. But in order to inject further capital into the paper, 87% of its stock was sold to Robert *Maxwell, the British media mogul, who, in turn, appointed Dov *Yudkovsky, who since 1989 had represented Maxwell's Israeli interests, as editor. A $25 million full-color printing press was purchased. After Maxwell died in 1992 the newspaper was bought by arms dealer Yaacov *Nimrodi, who gave his son, Ofer, responsibility for the newspaper. At the time of Maxwell's death, the newspaper had accumulated debts of $40 million and its circulation was 90,000 daily and 200,000 on weekends as against Yedioth Aharonoth's 295,000 daily and 350,000 on weekends. Dan *Margalit, Maariv's oped editor, served briefly as editor, a post which Ofer Nimrodi himself filled from 1992 to 1995, when Yaacov Erez, the paper's veteran military correspondent, became editor. In the so-called wiretapping scandal Nimrodi was imprisoned for eight months in 1999 for wiretapping the phones of Yedioth Aharonoth publisher Arnon *Mozes and Dov Yudkovsky. Amnon Abramovitch, a Maariv investigative reporter, resigned from the newspaper after discovering that his telephone had also been tapped. In 2003 Amnon *Dankner, a Maariv columnist who had come to Nimrodi's defense in the wiretapping scandal, was appointed editor. Under Nimrodi, Maariv went down market in editorial content and layout, but while he succeeded in reducing the gap between Maariv and Yedioth Aharonoth – 23% of Israelis read Maariv daily and 28% on weekends according to a 2005 Teleseker survey – the gap remained. Nimrodi had additional media-related and other commercial interests. In 2004 the newspaper set up an Internet news site, NRG. The newspaper owned a number of magazines, including magazines for youth, and a publishing house, and had developed interests in the cellular phone industry.
S. Rosenfeld, "The Carlebach Affair and the Establishment of Maariv," in: Kesher, 30 (Nov. 2001).
[Yoel Cohen (2nd ed.)]