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(photo credit: Courtesy)
TO THOSE people who thought that Israel Prize laureate Haim Yavin would always be a permanent feature on the Israel landscape, the word is that Yavin, who was one of the founders of Israel Television, is stepping down from presenting the Mabat News. Yavin, whose commanding presence and authoritative voice have emanated from our TV screens for just over 39 years, is due to give his last Mabat broadcast at the end of August, just a few days before his 75th birthday in September. His contract expires in August and with all the changes that are taking place at the Israel Broadcasting Authority, there is not a strong likelihood that it will be renewed.
Then again, Yavin has been in this position before when people protested that he was being paid too much - but he weathered the storm, and even left briefly, only to be persuaded to return. This could very well happen again. But even if it doesn't, and he really does stop presenting the nightly news, Yavin will not disappear entirely from Israel Television or from the communications industry. Yavin is also a maker of documentaries. His five-part documentary series Land of the Settlers generated considerable controversy when it was screened in 2005, mainly because it was too one-sided and presented a viewpoint that suggested that continued Israeli settlement in the West Bank imperiled Israel's future, and that the only solution was withdrawal. However Yavin received nothing but accolades for Dying Embers a moving and insightful eight-part documentary that he made in the twilight of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1990, depicting what remained of Jewish heritage and tradition in a country where religion was all but stamped out.
MEANWHILE AT Israel Radio, the search continues for a replacement for Gabi Gazit, who is due to wind up his tenure with "It's all Talk" on May 16. The Israel Broadcasting Authority, while it talks about bringing in new blood, still prefers the tried and tested. They approached Army Radio's Razi Barkai, who was the original host of "It's all Talk," and who even gave the program its name. Barkai, who hosted the show from 1989 to 1994, was succeeded by Sheli Yacimovich, (now a member of Knesset), who built her broadcasting career on it. Barkai left Israel Radio and went to Army Radio where he hosts a similar program "What's Burning," in which he deals with burning issues of the day. Barkai weighed the IBA offer briefly, and decided that flattering though it was to be called back to his old stomping ground, he would rather stay put. This may have been out of a sense of camaraderie for Gazit, whose supporters within the IBA are still trying to find a way to stop him from leaving - or he may have taken note of the old Yiddish adage that one doesn't put a healthy head in a sick bed.
IN OTHER radio news, billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak, whose multi-faceted business interests include ownership of Radio FM99, has secured permission from the Second Radio and Television Authority to give the station a complete change of image. Whereas it was previously focused on a young, music-conscious audience, the station will be revamped with a program line-up that includes news broadcasts and talk shows. Gaydamak has been signing up a stable of stars, and Radio FM99 may soon prove to be serious competition for Israel Radio and Army Radio.
IT WAS one of the most publicized pregnancies, and last week we finally reported that actress and model Miri Bohadana, 30, gave birth to a boy named Ben. The infant's father is international businessman and billionaire Bebo Kubo with whom Bohadana has been consorting for several years - notwithstanding the fact that he is still married (though separated) to someone else with whom he has three children. The birth, according to the mother, who was attended by celebrity gynecologist and fertility expert Dr. Jackie Ashkenazi, was natural and easy.
Bohadana's baby was not an accidental conception. In interviews that she gave long before her pregnancy, she talked about how much she and Kubo wanted to bring a child of their own into the world. Romance aside, Bohadana is a realist who knows that men who don't divorce their wives are unlikely to marry their mistresses. She made sure that Kubo would assume paternal responsibility and provide for his offspring. The two signed a legal agreement to that effect before the baby was born.
LOVE CONQUERS all - or so the purveyors of popular romances would have us believe. But it may very well be true. Only a month after leaving home and splitting up from her husband, singer Miri Mesika and Uri Zach appear to be on the road to reconciliation.
AFTER SEVERING their long association with Helicon on a rather loud and sour note, Rita and Rami Kleinstein went shopping for another record production and distribution company and reduced their short list to Hed Artzi.
THE LONG on and off relationship between singer Maya Buskila and Dudi Melitz, with whom she shared an apartment and who she almost married, seems to be definitely off. Buskila has a new beau, restaurateur Lior Bados, who is five years her junior. But the age difference doesn't bother either of them. It's the chemistry that counts.