Journalist Fired From Channel 13 Says Decision Influenced by Netanyahu's Interests

Nir Becher, who was let go from company after 30 years in journalism, says the channel's CEO landed his job after serving as a media adviser to Likud ministers

Nati Toker
Nati Tucker
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Channel 13 News.
Channel 13 News.Credit: Screenshot
Nati Toker
Nati Tucker

Nir Becher, the editor of the weekend edition of Channel 13 News who was fired this week, accused the CEO of Channel 13 News, Israel Twito, of “assassinating journalists” and acting “in the spirit of the Prime Minister’s Residence” in a social media post Monday.

Becher also said that Twito turned the news company into a “housecat,” and that it had deteriorated to a low point in its human relations. Channel 13 said in response that the claims are false and fictitious.

LISTEN: Protests, pandemics and Netanyahu's day of reckoningCredit: Haaretz

Becher has had a three-decade journalism career, and has served as the editor of Haaretz’s weekend magazine, among other posts. He was fired this week as part of a round of cutbacks at Channel 13. But its choice of figures to lay off has roused suspicion, and Becher's post details behind-the-scenes decisions at the company to change the face of the news channel.

Becher claimed that Twito – who served in the past as a media adviser for Finance Minister Yisrael Katz, among others – thought there was no reason to insist that the channel's political correspondent, Raviv Drucker should interview Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This countered the position of his predecessor, Golan Yochpaz.

Becher also wrote that Twito had asked him why Yisrael Katz had not been invited to the studio, and that he had shouted at him for opening the news program with a report from the memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin.

"Why did the CEO choose, specifically now, to get rid of the stinging investigation segment and the 'successful and consistent' news program, as he emphasized himself more than a few times?" Becher wrote. The answers can be found, he said, "in the spirit of the commander, who landed on his throne after serving as a media adviser for the ministers Gideon Sa'ar and Yisrael Katz – a surprising and disconcerting matter in its own right."

He continued, "Immediately upon his call to the job, it became clear that the spirit of the commander is the spirit of the [Prime Minister's Residence], even if these things weren’t said explicitly,” wrote Becher.

In response, Channel 13 News said: “We are in the midst of a complicated process of streamlining, organizationally and individually, due to cutbacks of tens of millions of shekels, with the goal of rehabilitating the company and continuing to provide viewers with news broadcasts on the highest level, as we have done until now. We are forced to part with excellent professionals, among them Nir Becher. We regret his choice to end the relationship between us on such a note, and wish him great success in the future.”

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