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CHANGES ARE taking place at the helm of Russian language television station Channel 9. Pini Cohen, chairman of the Channel 9 executive council and managing director of the Africa-Israel Group has announced the appointment of Ilan Toviahu as deputy chairman of the Council, and of Leonid Blachman as Channel 9 general manager.
Tuviahu, 41, joined Telad, one of the original franchisees of Channel Two, 12 years ago and was part of the team that established Israel's first commercial television channel. Tuviahu held a number of important positions at Telad, including deputy to Telad's founder and former managing director Uzi Peled. Over the past year, Tuviyahu served as Telad's general manager until the expiration of Telad's contract with Channel Two. On September 1, Tuviyahu is expected to take over the chairmanship of the Channel 9 Council from Cohen.
Blachman, 54, was a member of the founding team of Channel 9, and was chief content editor of the Channel from day one. In recent months, following the resignation of Rali Kuberski, Blachman filled in as acting general manager. He is now permanent general manager, but will concurrently retain his position as editor-in-chief. Cohen believes Tuviyahu's presence at Channel 9 to be a significant turning point. Cohen described Tuviyahu as one of Israel's top-notch television professionals.
MEANWHILE MA'ARIV reports that billionaire businessman Arkady Gaydamak has held preliminary talks with a view to buying into Channel 10 and relieving key investor Yossi Maiman of some of his shares. Maiman, head of the Merhav Group, has already lost millions of dollars in this particular investment, but is still hoping for an eventual turnaround.
The fact that Gaydamak is called in at frequent intervals by the police fraud squad, which is trying to pin a money laundering charge on him, has not deterred the business community or numerous social welfare organizations from approaching him to invest or donate. When he acquired ownership of the Betar Jerusalem soccer team, Gaydamak made no secret of the fact that the investment was a stepping stone towards acceptance within Israeli circles. It seems as if that ambition is on the way to being realized.
Veteran Israeli journalist and commentator Arieh O'Sullivan has been named by The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as Communications Director for ADL's Israel Office, where he will be working with Phyllis Gerably, the Managing Director of ADL Israel. O'Sullivan is an award-winning reporter with nearly two decades of experience in covering the Israel's defense and military establishment, most recently for The Jerusalem Post, where he has served as defense correspondent for the last 10 years.
"Arieh O'Sullivan brings to ADL an intimate knowledge of the media's demands in an increasingly fast-paced news environment and a solid understanding of the issues facing the Jewish state and people," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, adding that the ADL looks forward to building on its existing relationships with the news media in Israel, "so that we may continue to serve as the go-to resource on anti-Semitism and information on issues facing the Jewish people and Israel."
A native of New Orleans, LA, O'Sullivan who immigrated to Israel in 1981, has served as correspondent for The Associated Press, Israel Radio- English News and United Press International. He covered the Oslo peace process, the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the Rabin assassination while working for the AP, based in Jerusalem. He served as a paratrooper in the Lebanon War and continues to serve as an officer in the reserves. He is married with three children.
In his new capacity with the ADL, O'Sullivan will oversee the League's communications and media relations in Israel - initiating and maintaining contacts with reporters, editors and field producers who deliver news from the region, including the Israeli and American press corps.
AN EXCITING breakthrough in Israel's relations with the Muslim world was reported in Yediot Aharonot, which disclosed that the first-ever delegation of Pakistani businessmen is scheduled to come to Israel in May for the Agritech '06 fair. The fair's organizers have been informed by members of the Pakistani delegation that they are particularly interested in looking into opportunities to purchase state-of-the-art agricultural equipment and new technologies for use in cultivating mountainous and desert regions. Israel's innovations in irrigation equipment have not escaped the attention of the Pakistanis who are also keen to sign contracts for the purchase of irrigation equipment for greenhouses. According to the report, Agritech '06 Director Danny Meiri said fair organizers were surprised by the fact that the Pakistanis made no attempt to camouflage their identities and submitted their names and those of the companies they represent along with relevant contact details. The Pakistanis will not be the only representatives of a Muslim country. Business people from Afghanistan, Albania, Morocco, Malaysia, and Indonesia have already signed up, and by the time the fair opens, there could also be representatives from Egypt and Jordan. Websurfers from Iran, Iraq and Syria have visited the Agritech Arabic language website, said Meiri.
SOME 40 Israeli entrepreneurs will be traveling to New York next week for a one-day US/Israel Venture Summit, where they will meet representatives of 30 major venture capital groups, plus private, corporate, angel and strategic investors, whom they hope to interest in providing American financial support for their projects. Organizers of the summit are YoungStartUp Ventures, a New-York based company which arranges 13 summits a year, including the largest venture capital conference in NYC - the New York Venture Summit.
The March 21 summit, with an expected attendance of 400 participants, will be their second showcase for Israeli hi-tech and biotech. Their initial showcase last year was held at Madison Square Garden, bringing together 20 American venture capital companies and 30 Israeli start-ups. This year's Summit will be hosted at the IDT headquarters in Newark, with many more potential investors slated to attend, to meet Israeli start-ups working in wireless communications, life sciences, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare innovation.
Program Director Jason Collin, who has an office in Jerusalem, said his company has secured leading representatives of the VC world to participate in panel discussions about the Israeli and American venture scene, to explain what American investors look for in Israeli companies and how they can best attract American capital. "We are proud to be able to show American corporate investors some of the best innovations from Israel - the world's hi-tech powerhouse."
The US/Israel Venture Summit is co-sponsored by Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C., IDT, the Merrill Corporation and Morgan Lewis, with the Israel Government Economic Mission to North America, the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce, the Bird Foundation, Jerusalem Business Development Corp., the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, US-Israel Business Exchange, Israelwise, Startup Jerusalem, FreeMind, and the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
For additional information and a list of participating companies, click on http://www.youngstartup.com/events/
NETANYA ACADEMIC College is basking in the shared glory of Prof.Benzion Zylberfarb who has been appointed as a director of Bank Discount, following the transfer of the bank's ownership to the Bronfman family. Zylberfarb, a former director-general of the Finance Ministry, also serves on the boards of directors of Partner, the cellular phone company, and Clal Finances. At Netanya Academic College, Zylberfarb serves as head of the school of banking, whose faculty staff includes Dr. Moshe Mandelbaum, former governor of the Bank of Israel, and Prof. David Rotenberg who is a member of the executive board of the Bank of Israel.
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