Channel 10 cans weekly news show, plans to fire 26 workers (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Emilie Grunzweig 06/05/12)
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-Top
The board of directors of Channel 10 is taking its flagship weekly
news program "Hashavua" off the air, it announced this week, and has
summoned 16 staff members to pre-dismissal interviews.
The board of the beleaguered commercial television station, which has
been in acute financial distress for the past year, also approved a
15 percent wage cut for its news talents.
The station may not have enough money to pay its employees next
month, and is expected to summon 10 more staff members for pre-
dismissal interviews shortly.
The Friday night news program made headlines in September when three
of the station´s prominent figures - the CEO of its news division,
Reudor Benziman; "Hashavua" editor Ruti Yovel; and the program´s
anchor, Guy Zohar - resigned after the channel was coerced into
broadcasting an apology to U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a major
financial backer of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for an
unflattering investigative report.
Last week Channel 10 CEO Yossi Warshavsky also resigned, saying he no
longer had the strength to fight for the troubled station´s survival.
Warshavsky sent the prime minister a letter asking him to allow the
station to spread out its debts.
The investigative report, about luxury trips abroad taken by the
Netanyahu family that were funded by political donors, was written by
Avner Hofstein, one of the journalists summoned for a pre-dismissal
interview this week.
Until this development, Channel 10 had been working on a revamp of
the Friday night news format, with the intention of featuring its new
diplomatic commentator Emmanuel Rosen and Alon Ben-David as anchors,
backed by a panel of commentators in the studio.
Channel 10 sources said whether or not the show goes back on air will
depend on whether they get increased funding, because in the next two
months the deficit-stricken channel will have cash-flow difficulty
and may not be able to pay workers´ salaries.
Over the next few days, senior Channel 10 executives are expected to
meet with U.S. businessman Ron Lauder, who owns 25 percent of the
channel´s shares and is the only shareholder who has been funneling
money into the station recently.
Channel 10 News is operating on a budget of NIS 65 million, the
minimum required by law.
News division employees said they were not surprised by the changes,
given that backers have largely cut funding in the past year.
Its workers´ union met with Uri Rosen, the acting CEO of Channel 10
News, to express its objection to the planned dismissals and cuts.
The union demanded negotiations on revoking the dismissals or
reducing their scope, and finding alternative positions for the staff
members who are about to be fired.
The Second Television and Radio Authority yesterday asked Channel 10
for clarifications about the planned changes.
"´Hashavua´ was approved as part of the broadcasting schedule for
Channel 10 News, and any change must be approved by the authority,"
Yaakov Shaham, the authority´s television department head, said
The authority will comment on the changes after it understands why
Friday night´s news show was pulled and what is being planned in its
stead, he said.
"My opinion is that the attempts to save Channel 10 require cuts,
including dismissals of workers and journalists," Shaham said. "This
will give the channel a chance to survive and prevent the dismissal
of hundreds of workers, including dozens of journalists." (©
Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/05/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY