Channels 10 and 13 to merge Wednesday

Israel again to have just two commercial TV stations

By
January 14, 2019 16:19
1 minute read.
The logos of Channels 12 and 13

The logos of Channels 12 and 13. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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For one year, two months and 15 days, Israel had three commercial TV stations.

But at midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, that number will shrink back to two, when Reshet 13 and Channel 10 merge, forming Channel 13.

At that point, Israel will return to having two commercial stations, as it did before Keshet and Reshet split into Keshet 12 and Reshet 13 – after broadcasting together on Channel 2 for years.

The Keshet/Reshet split in 2017 was mandated by a law passed in the Knesset back in 2011. But both Reshet and Channel 10 struggled financially after the move.

So what will change come Wednesday?

Channel 10 – which has been airing on channel 14 for more than a year – will cease to exist entirely. The network will merge into Reshet, and the combined venture will be known simply as Channel 13.

The Hadashot news program – which aired simultaneously on channels 12 and 13 since November 2017 – will be broadcast only on Keshet 12 (Keshet bought out Reshet’s shares in the news company). The news team that appeared on Channel 10 will begin broadcasting on Channel 13.

The weekly show Meet the Press will move from Channel 13 to Keshet 12 beginning this Saturday. Veteran news anchor Yaakov Eilon is slated to return to TV after several years away to present a daily 5 p.m. news show on Channel 13. The long-running Channel 10 news program London and Kirschenbaum will not be returning after the merger. It broadcast its final show last week.

What won’t change is all three nightly news shows being anchored by women: Yonit Levi on 12, Tamar Ish-Shalom on 13 and, beginning in March, Doria Lampel will take over on the KAN 11 public broadcaster. (Geula Even-Saar stepped down from KAN last month due to her husband’s reentry into political life ahead of the election.)

Wednesday evening will mark the first slate of primetime programming following the merger. Keshet 12 will air the season premiere of the satirical sketch show Eretz Nehederet, and Channel 13 will air the second episode of its ratings-grabber Celebrity Big Brother.

Both new networks have been airing intensive broadcast and online campaigns to lure viewers to their new lineups, and both will be on edge to see the ratings come Thursday morning.

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