Cabel managed to set IBA on the road to recovery

Many at the Israel Broadcasting Authority were upset on Tuesday, when Minister-without-Portfolio Eitan Cabel of Labor submitted his resignation from the government. Cabel was the minister responsible for the IBA. Appointed in May 2006, Cabel attracted less media attention than his predecessor, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose drawn-out battle with then-IBA director-general Yosef Barel provided much headlines and high drama. Olmert swore that he would oust Barel, about whom he had received numerous complaints from IBA employees. Barel had been wielding power at the IBA for such a long time that it seemed that no one could topple him. The Jerusalem Journalists Association occasionally won a court battle against him, but the victories engendered little excitement, because Barel continued to be the head honcho until Olmert came along. However, Olmert did little or nothing about repairing the ills that wracked the IBA. He appointed neither a chairman nor an executive committee. The absence of a chairman and an executive committee meant the IBA was unable to implement decisions, publish tenders or properly organize itself on a variety of levels. When Cabel assumed responsibility for the IBA, he said its entire structure was faulty, and set about drafting reforms. "He was due to present them to the cabinet for approval within the next few months," said IBA spokeswoman Linda Bar. She is unsure what will happen to the plans that Cabel had drawn up. All that she could say was that his ideas were "very revolutionary." Even without the reforms, she said he had made it possible for the IBA to start getting out of its rut for the first time in three years. Cabel appointed an executive committee and a chairman, Moshe Gavish, who works free of charge and takes his duties very seriously. "He's the best thing that happened to the IBA in a long time," said Bar. As a result, the IBA functions more efficiently and is in a position to publish tenders. Bar said that on the day Cabel resigned, she published a tender for a new television chief. Before Cabel, she said, people remained in some jobs indefinitely because there was no executive committee to approve changes. Cabel set the ball rolling, but he didn't run with it.