The RGE Group, which controls Channel 10 television, is offering the station’s news operation for sale for 200 million shekels ($57 million).
If such a sale comes to fruition, it could facilitate a merge of Channel 10 and Reshet, the franchisee of Channel 13, but the number of potential buyers of Channel 10 News is extremely small. RGE and Channel 10 refused to comment for this article but Channel 10 CEO Yossi Warshavsky has told employees there is no such plan.
The effort to sell Channel 10 News comes at a time when the commercial television market has undergone reorganization. At the end of 2017, Channel 2 was split, and the two franchisees that shared it, Keshet and Reshet, were given Channels 12 and 13 respectively.
Each now has a full broadcast schedule to fill and the change has put the commercial television market under pressure. Production costs are high and it is thought the local television industry is losing tens of millions of shekels a month.
Since the split up of Channel 2, and even before that, there have been feelers between Reshet and Channel 10 over a merger. A major stumbling block has been the stations’ news operations. When Channel 2 was split up, Keshet and Reshet were allowed to continue to share the joint news operation that they had at Channel 2 for three years, after which one would buy the news operation from the other. Channel 10 has seen the sale of its own news operation as a way of resolving the matter during the interim three-year period on the assumption that a merged Reshet-Channel 10 would continue to share the former Channel 2 news operation for the balance of the three years.