Channel 10 Watchdog Calls Urgent Meeting After Recent Resignations

Head of Channel 10's news division and other senior figures quit in the wake of apology made by the channel for its critical profile of U.S. billionaire.

The Second Television and Radio Authority, which oversees Channel 10 television, has called an urgent meeting for this afternoon to discuss the recent resignations of a number of senior employees. The head of Channel 10's news division and other senior figures at the station quit recently in the wake of an apology made by the channel for its critical profile of a U.S. billionaire who is known to be close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other prominent Israelis.

During last Friday's airing of "Hashavua," the weekly news magazine that in January produced and broadcast the offending segment on gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson, anchor Guy Zohar resigned on air after an announcer read the station's apology. Zohar's resignation over the apology was preceded by those of the head of the news division, Reudor Benziman, and "Hashavua" editor Ruth Yuval.

Guy Zohar - 12092011

Channel 10 chairman Yossi Maiman, CEO Yossi Warshavski, news division chairman Yoram Schechter and Benziman have been invited to attend Monday's meeting, which, the authority said in a statement, was to be a "broad hearing" whose purpose was "to examine the chain of events and their circumstances" as well as to evaluate "whether, God forbid, the independence of the news division was compromised."

On Sunday meanwhile, the news division of rival commercial station Channel 2 took the unusual step of issuing a public statement in support of "our colleagues in the news division of Channel 10" that praised "the professionalism, integrity and activity as a communications medium whose existence is important to Israel democracy."

Adelson demanded an apology after the profile was aired, contending that it falsely claimed that he owed a former employee $400,000 and that his Las Vegas gaming license was obtained through inappropriate political ties.