Amir Gilat 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Shock waves raced through the corridors of the Israel Broadcasting Authority on
Sunday as word spread that Aryeh Shaked, the CEO of Israel Radio, and Moshe
“Moushon” Matzliach, the CEO of Channel 1, were no longer head
However, the uproar, which continued into Monday, may have been
premature despite the suddenness with which two of the top people in management
who had been involved in negotiations for the IBA’s reforms found themselves
demoted to rank and file.
At a meeting of the IBA’s Board of Management
headed by IBA chairman Amir Gilat, it was decided to relieve the two men of
their responsibilities, but not to dismiss them.
This step was taken in
accordance with guidelines set down by the state comptroller, who does not want
any applicant for a senior post at the IBA to have an advantage over any
Two weeks ago, the IBA announced in certain managerial positions
would be relieved of their duties so that the IBA could publish tenders for the
positions. That did not mean that such people could not re-apply for those
positions, but the applications would not be coming from people already sitting
in those positions, in an effort to forestall accusations of anyone being able
to influence the appointments committees. It was also announced that all
positions for which tenders would be published would be vacated, starting from
the most senior.
Nonetheless, Moti Sklaar, the most senior of the IBA
employees, was not ousted from his position as director-general.
reason, explained a representative from the IBA spokesman’s office, is that
Sklaar’s term expires at the end of the first week in July, and he is not
applying for an extension or to be re-appointed.
circumstances, it was possible to publish a tender for the position of
director-general without pushing Sklaar out of office.
Many of the IBA
employees believe that Gilad is trying to scuttle the agreements reached between
management and the various unions, and to thus prevent the implementation of the
However, according to the rumor mill, Gilat has his sights set
on the next Knesset, and he would score a lot of points if the reforms become
operational on his watch.
Meanwhile, Gilat has announced that the board
is determined to work quickly to implement the recommendations of the state
comptroller, but will remove people from their posts gradually so as not to
cause any major disturbance to the general running of the IBA.
to a State Comptroller’s Report, the IBA is badly managed and its whole
organizational structure is flawed, and has been for years.
IBA’s legal department permitted the drastic action that was taken on Sunday, it
was with the stipulation that Shaked and Matzliach be given a hearing so that
they could argue their respective cases.
The Board of Management gave
them 10 days in which to do so.
Meanwhile, Danny Zaken, chairman of the
Journalists Association in Jerusalem, has written a letter of protest to Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who has ministerial responsibility for supervising
the implementation of the Broadcasting Authority Law.
In his letter,
Zaken pointed out that after negotiations that lasted for years, an agreement
that was finally reached between management and all the unions is under threat
of being torn asunder.
Zaken wants Netanyahu to intervene before the
situation gets out of hand.