Netanyahu at cabinet meeting.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Even though the fates of both the Israel Broadcasting Authority and its replacement, the Israel Broadcasting Corporation called Kan, are hanging in the balance, there appears to be a sense of optimism that Prime Minister and Communications Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lose out in his bid to annul the yet to be launched IBC in favor of rehabilitating the IBA, which for more than a year has been in the process of liquidation.
The IBC announced on Tuesday that current affairs anchor Geula Even, who has been with the IBA for 23 years, has signed a contract with the IBC, and will transfer from the IBA once it closes down and IBC becomes operational.
This could happen in January or April next year.
She is the 600th person to sign a contract with the IBC. If Netanyahu has his way, all these contracts would become null and void. For just over half the signatories, this will simply mean staying at their old jobs, but for the remaining hopefuls, it will mean unemployment.
Even, 44,who is married to former government minister Gideon Saar, tweeted that she believes in a strong public broadcasting service.
If she does transfer to IBC, she will be hosting current affairs programs on both radio and television.
At a meeting on Monday of the special committee appointed by Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to look into the whole question of public broadcasting, there was no consensus on anything, and treasury officials insisted that there was no way to economize in efforts to rehabilitate the IBA.
Yoav Horowitz , who heads Netanyahu’s team, suggested that serious thought be given to doing away with public broadcasting altogether.
Such a move would put a blight on investigative reporting by the electronic media. Whereas commercial television and radio outlets cannot afford to upset their investors and their friends, corruption from those sources would go uninvestigated and unreported, whereas public broadcasting is not restricted by such considerations.
Although Even is one of the most important of IBC’s television acquisitions, her marital status may go against her with regard to the possibility that Netanyahu views her husband as a rival.
Saar, who took time out from politics two years ago ostensibly to spend time with his baby son, said in September this year following the birth of their second child that was born of hjis union with Even, that he planned to return to public life in 2017. Saar has two daughters from his first marriage, and Even three children from hers.