IBA EMPLOYEES protest outside the Knesset yesterday. The sign reads, ‘Democracy=Public Broadcasting’.
(photo credit: IBA)
When he left the helm of the IBA News in English in September 2015, Steve Leibowitz, who had been with the broadcast outlet since its very inception, saw the writing on the wall.
Leibowitz knew the Israel Broadcasting Authority was in dire straits and the chances of it continuing to operate were very slim. He was also aware of many attempts to close down the English language broadcasts over the years, and he doubted English would be included in any replacement public broadcasting service.
His forecasts have so far proved correct.
As far as is known, there will be no English language broadcasts on the yet-to-be launched Israel Broadcasting Corporation, which goes under the call sign of KAN.
Leibowitz joined ILTV in November 2016, and has been involved in efforts to bring English news back to the television screen. As of this week, English language news broadcasts will air Sunday through Thursday at 10 p.m. on Channel 150 on HOT and 109 on YES.
The nightly half-hour news broadcasts have been arranged through a syndication agreement between ILTV and METV (Middle East Television), which will transmit the broadcasts from their studios in Cyprus.
Jess Dolgin, CEO of J Media Global, which produces ILTV, said he was very excited to partner with METV and bring news in English, not only to Israeli viewers, but to the whole world.
The nightly newscast will be hosted Natasha Kitchuk. In addition, there will be other ILTV programs, such as a weekly one-on-one with Alan Dershowitz, a weekly “inside Israel issues” show hosted by Leibowitz, plus travel, cooking and fashion features broadcast on a regular basis.