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Israel Radio's Reshet Bet was the most popular radio station during the second half of 2008, according to a TGI survey published this week. The survey indicated that Israelis are hooked on talk shows.
The most popular programs were Haboker Hazeh ("This Morning"), hosted by Arye Golan; Seder Yom ("Agenda"), hosted by Keren Noibach; Hakol Diburim ("It's All Talk"), hosted by Yaron Dekel; and B'hatzi Hayom ("Midday"), anchored by Esti Perez.
The survey was conducted among 3,787 listeners over the age of 18. It indicated that the station's ratings in the second half of 2008 rose to 28.1 percent.
Reshet Gimmel, Israel Radio's music station, had 13.7%, up 5.3% during the second half of 2008.
Army Radio's ratings were down 8.5%.
Golan and Dekel were recent recipients of the prestigious Sokolov Prize for journalism.
In a congratulatory letter to Israel Radio director Arye Shaked, Israel Broadcasting Authority director-general Moti Sklaar said the steady increase in the number of Reshet Bet listeners in recent months was the best proof of the excellence and relevance of its programs. He said Reshet Bet's achievements were particularly noteworthy in view of the financial constraints under which the station was operating.
Noibach and Dekel each include a lot of human-interest material in their programs, and give people experiencing problems with bureaucracy an opportunity to air their grievances. These exposures often result in solutions that might otherwise be unattainable. Such triumphs may, to some extent, account for the station's growing popularity.