Channel 10's board of directors convened last night and voted to dismiss all of the station's staff of about 500 employees. However, at the request of Harel Locker, director general of the Prime Minister's Office, the board agreed to defer issuing dismissal notices for 48 hours. If the dismissals proceed, the station would shut down at the end of the year.
The move by the board came after management came to understand that legislation to save the station would not be brought before the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday, and in all probability would not be submitted for passage by the Knesset prior to the January 22 parliamentary election.
The operating license for Channel 10, which faces massive debt, is due to expire at the end of December.
The provisions of the stalled legislation were hammered out by representatives of the station and the Prime Minister's Office. But in a related development, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin resolved that, due to the general election, no further legislation would be brought before the full Knesset.
Locker attended last night's meeting and asked the board to defer a decision on staff layoffs to give Rivlin the opportunity to reconvene the Knesset.
The board Saturday night issued a statement saying that since there had been no progress on the legislation, the layoff decision passed unanimously, but the station would defer the issuing of dismissal notices for 48 hours at Locker's request.