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WHEN IT was first announced that news anchor Gadi Sukenik was leaving Channel 2, there was speculation that he would go to work for business tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva, in whose company he was frequently seen. At the time, both Sukenik and Tshuva (who is among Israel's wealthiest people), denied any business relationship and said they were just good friends. In the interim, Sukenik's deal with Leumi Mortgage Bank became public knowledge. Sukenik, much to the dismay (and possibly envy) of some of his former colleagues, had landed himself a $600,000 three year contract with the bank to be its spokesperson in various campaigns - meaning that he was not going to disappear from the small screen.
Towards the end of last week, the financial daily Globes revealed that Sukenik also cut a deal with Tshuva and will act as his media adviser. To that end he has already been to the Big Apple to inspect Tshuva's New York properties, most notably his controversial acquisition, the famed Plaza hotel. Since Tshuva owns properties and other business interests in different parts of the world and is engaged in a major project in Las Vegas, it looks as if Sukenik will be doing a lot more traveling than he did as a television celebrity.
MEANWHILE AT Channel 10, Gilad Adin, the director of the channel's news operation, has been given carte blanche on his tenure. His contract has been extended indefinitely - a sign of the esteem in which he is held by the Channel 10 board of directors. Prior to joining Channel 10 in 2005, Adin's was a familiar face on Channel 1, where he was both a reporter and Mabat news reader. But Adin, like several other Israel Broadcasting Authority employees at the time, was involved in disputes with then IBA director-general Yosef Barel. When a better opportunity came along, he seized it with both hands, and obviously he's much more appreciated where he is now.
IN ADIN'S old stomping ground, negotiations finally began last week for the introduction of drastic reforms to the IBA. According to several IBA veterans, the reforms are already being implemented. Case in point was the tender put out for the position of general manager of Channel 1, a post that has been vacant since Motti Eden stepped down last year. Itai Landsberg, the head of the channel's documentary department, who is frequently seen as the anchor for Mabat Sheni (Second Look), put forward his candidature and was rejected. Current head of the Arabic department Shlomo Ganor was also rejected. In the past these positions were always held by Channel 1 insiders, but now IBA chairman Moshe Gavish and IBA director-general Moti Shklar are looking beyond the IBA for people to take up major positions. Shklar had to cave in over a storm of protest when he was looking for a successor for Haim Yavin, and thought of Channel 10's Oshrat Kotler instead of Geula Even, who was right under his nose.
With some 800 people targeted for severance from the IBA, no one's job is safe anymore, and presumably some people whose feathers have been ruffled will leave of their own accord. Meanwhile Yavin, who is due to vacate his Mabat seat within the next week or two, has gotten rid of some of his stodginess and is presenting the news in a more upbeat manner. Yavin celebrated his 75th birthday on September 10, but seems to be much more youthful than he was a decade ago.
When Yossi Alfi, king of the storytellers, invited Gila Almagor, queen of Israel's stage and screen, to be the subject of one of his storytelling soirees at the Givatayim Theater, she was resistant at first. But in the final analysis, curiosity got the better of her and she yielded to his blandishments. Several people who worked with Almagor over the years will relate anecdotes about her on September 29. Although the event is meant to honor her, Almagor has issued a warning that she will be listening very carefully.
ACTRESS AND model Agam Rodberg has parted with her agent of seven years, Robert Ben Shushan, but on much more amicable terms than singer/model/actress Maya Buskila. Buskila announced she no longer wanted Shushan to manage her life and the widespread negative publicity that Ben Shushan and his Roberto Modeling Agency received as a result may have mellowed him.
Rodberg also left Shushan in an attempt to spend time in New York studying at the Lee Strasberg Institute. However, according to a Walla report, Rodberg failed to pass the final entrance exams. Meanwhile, she has signed up with another modeling agency, and her career is now managed by Boaz Ben Zion.