(photo credit: COURTESY OF IBA)
In journalistic circles, what goes around comes around, so it is not exactly surprising that Yoram Cohen was named acting head of Ch. 1’s News Division following Ayala Hasson’s resignation and her departure to Ch. 10.
Cohen, who for the past four years has gone into dangerous territory and been seen on screen chatting to leading Palestinian personalities as well as to ordinary Palestinians in the street, and reporting on funerals of Palestinian terrorists, is now back in the seat that he occupied some five years ago.
In some circles it would be considered a hot seat, but compared to what he’s been doing over the past four years, anything else, despite the heavy responsibility, is a welcome respite.
In the revolving door syndrome of the journalistic profession, Cohen, who has been with the IBA since 1991, has held a number of editorial and managerial positions including CEO of Ch. 1, head of local news, head of the Ch. 1 News Division, editor of the Mabat news program, and editor of special programs, is back in the second most important position of his old jobs.
At the behest of Prof. David Hahn, who in his capacity of administrator-general and official receiver of the State of Israel is also the IBA liquidator, Cohen will be holding the fort for just over four months until the dissolution of the IBA and the establishment of a new, streamlined, cost efficient public broadcasting service.
The IBA is by act of law scheduled to cease operating at the end of March 2016.
It is still not certain, given the time factor whether a smooth transition from the IBA to the new public broadcasting service is feasible or whether the target date can be met.
Cohen said he appreciated the confidence that has been placed in him, and added that he was approaching his oldnew role with a sense of mission and obligation to public broadcasting, especially at this time.
Unlike Hasson, Cohen will not be presenting Yoman, the weekend news and current affairs program.
No final decision has yet been reached as to who will take over from Hasson as Yoman anchor, said an IBA spokesperson, who anticipated this situation would change within a day or two.
Unlike Hasson who had to come to Jerusalem from her home in northern Tel Aviv, Cohen lives in the capital and relatively close to the IBA studios.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle East Studies and Sociology and is fluent in Arabic. He is married with three children.