Channel 2 Anchor Gets Death Threat Over Avi Nimni Report

The anchor of Channel 2's "Uvda" program has had a bodyguard escort for the last week due to threats that reached the show's editorial desk over a report on Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Avi Nimni to be broadcast tonight.

Anchor Ilana Dayan and correspondent Arik Weiss were directed to take various precautions by the police in the wake of the threats.

For the past few weeks, the show has been working on a report about Nimni, his supposed connections to criminal elements and fan groups that have reacted with violence against his critics in several instances.

During the preparation of the report, the editorial desk received general and detailed threats against those working on it, in addition to other threats posted by fans on various Internet forums.

One fan, for example, wrote "What killed Ilana Dayan? An investigative report," and there have also been curses and invectives against her displayed on fans' banners on several occasions.

A source at Channel 2 franchisee Keshet, which broadcasts "Uvda," said that as a result of this protest, they decided to contact the police, and together with them decided to take safety precautions and proceed with various security arrangements for Dayan and Weiss.

Yesterday it was reported that Keshet executives are evaluating the future of "Uvda" on Channel 2, due to the relatively low ratings it garnered this season. In response, the franchise's chief executive, Avi Nir, distributed a letter to employees of the show rejecting the reports and committing the network to the continued broadcast of the show in coming seasons.

"The show's status, independence, journalistic power and public place have made it a target for attack by interested parties," wrote Nir. "This is our response this season and this will also be our response in coming seasons of 'Uvda.'"

Keshet officials stated that "the report will air as scheduled. We are working in accordance with the police's instructions."

Yaniv Kubovich contributed to this report.