IBA icon Nakdimon Rogel dies at 86

Rogel was one of the pioneers of television in Israel, and was one of the early CEOs of Channel 1 in its initial incarnation as ITV.

December 9, 2011 06:17
2 minute read.

NAKDIMON ROGEL 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

Veteran journalist and broadcaster Nakdimon Rogel – who in 1995 authored the ethical guidelines for broadcasting in Israel, known in Hebrew as Mismach Nakdi – died on Thursday at his home in Kfar Saba at the age of 86.

A colorful, avuncular and sometimes gruff character, Rogel’s journalistic career began at the now-defunct Al- Hamishmar newspaper. In the early 1950s he joined Israel Radio and established the department for training radio journalists. He was also head of operations and hosted a popular treasure hunt program together with Yitzhak Shimoni.

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At one point, Rogel worked as a foreign correspondent reporting from Paris.

It was at Rogel’s initiative that the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s main television and radio stations were established in Romema in adjacent premises.

Rogel was one of the pioneers of television in Israel, and was one of the early CEOs of Channel 1 in its initial incarnation as ITV. For many years he also headed the IBA’s development projects.

A keen researcher of the history and geography of Israel, he pursued these subjects while employed at the IBA and continued to do so after his retirement.

The financial problems that constantly threaten the closure of public broadcasting in Israel also prevailed in his time, and he was frequently engaged in discussions with representatives of the Finance Ministry, who constantly warned the IBA that it would cut off funding unless it introduced more costcutting measures.

Ironically, on the day of Rogel’s death, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz pledged that the IBA would soon receive considerable funding from his ministry.

The subject came up during an interview of Steinitz by Israel Radio’s Arye Golan, about the new agreement with hospital residents. In the course of the interview, Golan asked about the proposed hike in electricity costs and also why the Finance Ministry – after signing an agreement that included the dismissal of some 700 IBA staff members – was still dragging its feet in providing the funding that would enable the implementation of IBA reforms.

Steinitz immediately said that Golan was a broadcasting asset that no one would want to lose. Golan made it clear that he was not asking on his own behalf, but for the benefit of public broadcasting, specifically the IBA.

Steinitz assured him that ample funds would soon be transferred to the IBA, and that further funding would be made available from the sale of IBA real estate.

Rogel will be buried on Friday in Kfar Saba.

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