Departure of 'Mr. Television' heralds Channel 1 face-lift

Yavin has been anchoring TV news since 1968 and has occasionally been dubbed Israel's Walter Cronkite.

haim yavin 88 (photo credit: )
haim yavin 88
(photo credit: )
It's countdown time at Channel 1. Tonight, Tuesday, will mark the final Mabat broadcast by Haim Yavin, 75, one of the pioneers of Israel Television, who is known in Hebrew by the sobriquet "Mr. Television." Yavin, an Israel Prize laureate, has been anchoring TV news since 1968, and has occasionally been dubbed the Walter Cronkite of Israel. Yavin will be succeeded by Merav Miller and Yinon Magal, both of whom are not only young enough to be his children, but were not even born when Yavin began his broadcasting career. Yavin is slated to receive a huge, on-air sendoff after tonight's broadcast, and the rejuvenated, fast-paced Mabat, scheduled to air on February 10, will remain in the 9 p.m. time slot. Channel 1 officials have said the new program will feature an entirely new look - not only in terms of anchors, but also in news content and studio and graphic design. The new, modern studio, is expected to project a greater sense of intimacy than its predecessor. The new news venue has been constructed to allow studio guests to sit much closer together than they did in the past. The revamped Mabat is expected to run more exclusive items than in the past, more in-depth investigative stories, more balanced commentary, and more items devoted to health, culture and sports as well as to issues affecting Israel's periphery. In addition to hiring five new reporters - including a qualified lawyer and immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia - the IBA has entered into a collaborative agreement with HOT News, under which HOT reporters and camera crews will make their material available to the IBA and vice versa. The "cooperative" news program is called From Every Place, and will be broadcast from at 7 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday. The 7:30 financial magazine broadcast has been renamed Daily Index. The IBA also plans to increase integration between programs and promos between news anchors and reporters on Channel One and those of Israel Radio's new-oriented Reshet Bet. Sports-wise, the station's focus will be on the upcoming Beijing Olympics, with a regular Olympics Magazine broadcast slated for on Mondays at 8:30 p.m. The Saturday night Israel Football League is scheduled to continue in the 10 p.m. slot. Geula Even, who had been the frontrunner to succeed Yavin, will continue to anchor In the News Today from 6 - 7 p.m. and the Weekend Diary on Friday evenings. The latter, like Mabat, has been targeted for a new studio design and new outsourced directors with a fresh approach. The program will concentrate on news-related documentary features rather than on hard news. From Today till Tomorrow, Channel 1's late-night broadcast, will center on politics and world affairs.