MK Nachman Shai proposes deferring Channel 10 debts
Station's NIS 60 million debt to state threatens to spell its end.
Channel 10 logo Photo: Courtesy
One of the key questions troubling people in the broadcasting industry is
whether Channel 10 will be permitted to continue to broadcast in light of its
severe financial crisis, or whether it is coming to the end of the road. Channel
10 owes NIS 60 million to the state, not to mention other large sums owed to
various creditors, suppliers and employees.
American businessman Ronald
Lauder – who has interests in various international media outlets – has a 25
percent stake in Channel 10, and in June of this year eased its financial burden
with an infusion of NIS 8 million.
Whether Lauder will be willing to make
another attempt to salvage the financially ailing Channel 10 remains to be
Even if it is forced to pull the plug on itself, closure will cost
Lauder a pretty penny. Meanwhile the people at Channel 10 are waiting to hear
whether the State Attorney’s Office will give them a one-year reprieve on
condition that the debt to the state is paid within that year.
Nachman Shai on Thursday proposed a bill he called “Air to Breathe,” whereby
payment of the debts of commercial television stations would be deferred. Shai
stressed the importance of maintaining Channel 10 in the hope that the prime
minister would become convinced that it was beneficial to the public to have
more channels with more programs appealing to the tastes of individual viewers.
A choice of channels he said, would echo Israel’s democratic system which
includes journalistic freedom, freedom of expression and the right and the need
for genuine and open competition.
By curtailing Channel 10 on the basis
of its debts said Shai, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister
Yuval Steinitz would harm the communications market and add to the nation’s
While a shadow hangs over Channel 10, the Israel Broadcasting
Authority is finally basking in the light of its long awaited reforms, the
agreement for which is scheduled to be signed this coming Sunday in Lod – where
the central studios of the IBA will be presently be located – at the Cultural
The signing will be followed by an extraordinary meeting of the
IBA plenum regarding the controversial Seder Yom (“Agenda”) program anchored by
This matter has also come to the attention of the
When Kadima MK Ronnie Bar-On was interviewed on Wednesday by
Esti Perez in her lunch time current affairs program B’Hatzi Hayom on Israel
Radio’s Reshet Bet, Bar- On deviated from the topic of the interview to object
to the treatment being meted out to Neubach – on the very station on which