The Army Radio station, which currently operates under a temporary order, should be given a permanent status, according to a committee convened to discuss the station's future direction.
Haaretz has learned that the committee, which convened this summer, was set up by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and headed by Maj. Gen. (ret. ) Danny Yatom, has recommended that Army Radio's status be enshrined into law. Currently the station operates under a temporary order.
The committee also recommended that policy regarding commercial sponsorship and public service broadcasts be set by a subcommittee.
Matters at the station were brought to a head in July when a temporary regulation allowing the broadcast of commercial sponsorship on the station expired, putting a significant part of the station's revenue stream at risk. The order was ultimately extended, but with the backing of the cabinet, Barak announced that the panel would develop recommendations for the station.
For the past month, no advertising or commercial sponsorship has aired on the station.
The announcement prompted concerns of future limitations on Army Radio's operations and even the fear that the broadcaster would be shut down. But much of the panel's recommendations relate to oversight of the station.
Yatom told Haaretz on Tuesday that his committee recommended that the Israel Broadcasting Authority continue to oversee the station's broadcasts that are civilian in character. The committee did recommend however that a standing oversight subcommittee for the station be established at the broadcasting authority.
Yatom's panel also recommended that a search committee make recommendations to the defense minister regarding candidates for station director and that the station head serve a term of four to five years. Currently the defense minister decides how long the station head will serve. Although not part of the committee's formal recommendations, Yatom said Barak has also agreed to set up a public committee to advise the station director, to be headed by a retired Supreme Court justice. He or she would appoint fellow committee members who have no ties to the defense minister.
In related news, the Defense Ministry on Tuesday announced the appointment of Brig. Gen. Eli Shermeister as acting head of the station, effective from Wednesday.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now