IBA may close its Washington bureau

Yaron Dekel, IBA's Washington bureau chief, winds up period of tenure in US.

yaron dekel 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
yaron dekel 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Israel Broadcasting Authority is seriously considering closing its Washington bureau. The move has been spurred by an urgent need to cut down on costs. Regardless of what the final decision will be, Yaron Dekel, the IBA's Washington bureau chief, is winding up his period of tenure in the US, and is expected to return to Israel in August. According to a spokesman for the IBA, Dekel will continue working for the IBA in Israel. Up until almost six years ago, the IBA had two full time representatives in the US. One reported almost exclusively for Israel Radio and the other for Israel Television. Occasionally, they filled in for each other. When Dekel was sent to the US some five years ago, the powers-that-be at the IBA decided that in view of the expense of maintaining two reporters in the US, they would make do with just one. Though based in Washington, Dekel, a prize-winning journalist, has traveled all over the United States to gather material for both media. The IBA is currently exploring alternatives to having its man in Washington, said the spokesman, who added that even if the bureau does close down, it will not be to the detriment of the IBA's viewers and listeners. There will be regular reports, said the spokesman, but not necessarily from someone who's been sent from here to there. Meanwhile, Arye Mekel, Israel's consul-general in New York, will soon complete his term. Mekel is a former director-general of the IBA and a first-rate broadcaster and newsman. He spent a long time in the US before coming back to Israel to take up senior positions here, and he may very well be prepared to stay in the US to get back behind the microphone. During his period as IBA director-general, Mekel sometimes went back into reporting mode when attending important events abroad at which the IBA was not represented by a regular reporter.