Channel 1 union welcomes as ‘1 of their own’ IBA’s new boss

Despite worker-management differences, union says selection of Yoni Ben-Menachem reflects its confidence in professionalism of IBA employees.

July 22, 2011 05:05
2 minute read.
New IBA director-general Yoni Ben-Menachem.

yoni ben-menachem_311. (photo credit: Aviv Hofi)


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The workers’ union representatives of Channel 1 – formerly known as Israel Television – have hailed the nomination of veteran broadcaster and former Israel Radio CEO Yoni Ben-Menachem as director-general of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

Although IBA employees and their representatives seldom see eye to eye with management or with the people heading its various institutions, on this occasion, there appears to be unanimity with regard to Ben-Menachem being the right man for the job.

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In a statement released on Thursday, the union representatives wrote that the selection of Ben-Menachem by the appointments committee was indicative of its confidence in the professionalism of IBA workers. The statement notes Ben-Menachem’s wide ranging experience in television and radio, both as a newsman and an administrator, from the time that he began his career in the IBA as a reporter for Arabic Television until his move through the ranks to head Israel Radio and later anchor his own current affairs radio program.

There is no doubt that at a time of major restructuring, the statement continues, the IBA needs someone with Ben-Menachem’s background and capabilities, who knows all the intricacies of the IBA, in order to effectively rehabilitate public broadcasting and bring it to the realization of its potential.

The authors of the statement, though euphoric that one of their own will be tasked with what they acknowledge, is a path paved with obstacles, are confident that he will succeed in the job, and wish him success, “because his success will be our success.”

The state comptroller has consistently found fault with the way in which the IBA has been managed. The revamping of the style of management and the new rules that will govern employment at the IBA, are integral to the reforms that are on the verge of implementation.

If the government approves his nomination, it will be Ben-Menachem’s role to oversee the introduction and continuity of the reforms, which among other things will considerably reduce the IBA staff numbers, take the IBA out of its deficit and reorganize program content so that it becomes more competitive with commercial channels, but without sinking to sensationalism to boost ratings.

IBA Chairman Amir Gilat is keen to broaden content choices through the presentation of more documentaries and features, but without cheapening the IBA with the type of reality shows that have become the mainstays of commercial television.

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