Israeli news anchor fights back tears announcing shutdown of historic channel (VIDEO)
“This was my professional home for many years,” Even said, noticeably upset at breaking the news without prior warning. “There were many difficult moments, and many good ones, and in the end, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs.”
“Now we will play a recording while we wait for more news about our channel,” Even added with a wry, defeated smile.
Late Tuesday, David Hahn, the Official Receiver of the Justice Ministry announced that the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) would be shut down with immediate effect.
The IBA was shut down the following morning to pave the way for its replacement, a new publicly-funded entity known as “Kan.”
The IBA had been broadcasting for 49 years.
Employees of the IBA TV station were previously told that the changeover would not take place until May 15 which is why the news came as such a shock.
After the shock live on air announcement, employees sang the national anthem after airing grievances about the handling of the changeover and perceived government callousness in disposing of the historic station.
“What is this notice, two hours in advance?” senior IBA journalist Yaakov Ahimeir asked on air. “What are we, criminals?”
“They are not giving us the opportunity to say farewell properly. They didn’t give us the chance to say thank you to all the people here in the studio,” Ahimeir added.
Even has reportedly been offered a position as the main news anchor at Kan, but new rules passed in the Knesset (Israel’s national legislature) require a separation between the new channel and its predecessor and may preclude Even from carrying on her role under the new management.
Until 1993, IBA’s Channel 1 main evening news, was the only TV news broadcast in Israel.
In 1977, the station broke the news of a political revolution in Israel which would ultimately bring the Likud Party to power for the first time.
In a show of solidarity, Channel 2 broadcast its now defunct competitor's final moments with anchor Yonit Levi decrying the whole affair and calling on viewers to empathize with the now unemployed staff of Israel’s historic public broadcaster.