Israel Radio staff up in arms over changes in schedule
Charge bosses with grabbing best time slots at expense of popular sports show
Israel Radio staff are up in arms over schedule changes in Reshet Bet programs after Channel 1 moved its main evening news to an earlier time.
"Mabat," which also airs on Reshet Bet radio channel, this week moved back to 7:52 P.M. from 9 P.M. As a result, a number of radio programs are to be shifted to time slots that attract fewer listeners.
Following the strong objection to the new schedule, the Israel Broadcasting Authority has suspended it for a few weeks for reexamination, IBA sources said.
Staff members say programs hosted by senior IBA officials have been given earlier, more popular time slots, at the expense of the programs shunted to later time slots.
One of the most controversial changes is shifting the daily sports program "It's In The Net" (Ze Bareshet ) from 6 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. Also, the 3 P.M. daily program "At Three With Anat Dolev" is to be replaced by the world-news magazine hosted by IBA's Foreign News Desk Editor Oren Nahari, which until now was aired at 7 P.M.
The program "Middle East Magazine," presented on Sundays by Israel Broadcasting Authority director general Yoni Ben Menachem, is to be given the 6 P.M. time slot. "Social Hour" (She'at Hevra ), hosted by Israel Radio director Miki Miro, will also be aired at an earlier hour.
"Moving 'Mabat' back was expected to shunt radio programs aired from 8 P.M. on to later hours, which attract fewer listeners," a senior IBA source said yesterday.
"Obviously the programs hosted by management people are being scheduled earlier, at more popular hours, at the expense of others," he said.
The sports show has been broadcast at 6 P.M. for the past four years and most of its listeners are 22-32 years old. The last TGI market research found its rating a relatively high 3.5 percent, some 50 percent higher than last year and that it is the second most popular program at that time slot, after the Army Radio's Galgalatz.
Moving the sports program to a later time slot, when various television sports programs are aired, could destroy it, as radio rates drop drastically at those hours, the source said.
IBA commented: "The sport strip has not proved itself in the present time slot, judging by its rating. Also, the new broadcasting schedule is still being formulated. The IBA director general and Israel Radio director are leading journalists who have been hosting Reshet Bet programs for years as part of their journalistic work. Certain interested parties in Israel Radio are trying to sabotage the move to refresh the schedule and spreading false spins."