Channel 10 logo_311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Financially stricken Channel 10 could receive an unexpected lifeline Thursday, after the chairman of the joint Knesset
Economics and Education Committee agreed to hold another hearing on the
station’s debt payments.
“Every opportunity must be given to save Channel
10,” MK Carmel Shama- Hacohen (Likud) said Wednesday, responding affirmatively
to the request from Labor MK Eitan Cabel to hold another hearing on the
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Last week, the Economics Committee voted eight to five against a
Channel 10 request to postpone by a year the payment of NIS 60 million in
royalties and franchise fees it owes to the state.
Prior to that vote,
Shama-Hacohen called Channel 10 “a weak economic entity that requires the
government’s assistance,” and said his committee should not be seen as “an
President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that he sees the
struggle for the future of Channel 10 – which is in danger of closing next month
if the committee does not approve the postponement – as a struggle for the
democratic character of Israel.
Peres met with Channel 10
representatives, and said: “Democracy is expensive, but the closure of the
channel will be social and economic bankruptcy… It’s not just the livelihood of
1,000 people that it will hurt, it will weaken the entire media.”
10 executive-director Yossi Varshabsky, director of news Uri Rozen, and
journalist Moti Kirschenbaum attended the meeting.
Peres said he was
concerned that if domestic media were harmed, youth would turn to foreign
outlets as an alternative.
“They will go to the Internet, read foreign
newspapers, and not know what is happening in this country,” he said.
Economics-Education Committee will discuss the matter Thursday, alongside a
proposal from MK’s Zeev Elkin and Zion Pinyan (Likud) to write off the Israel
Broadcasting Authority’s 2011 debts.