IBA bosses demoted so proper tenders can refill their posts

Israel Radio CEO Aryeh Shaked, Channel 1 CEO Moshe Matzliach found themselves demoted to rank and file.

Amir Gilat 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
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 honchos.
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 other.
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.
The 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.
Under those 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 reforms.
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.
According to a State Comptroller’s Report, the IBA is badly managed and its whole organizational structure is flawed, and has been for years.
While the 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.