Israel’s oldest news show was yanked off the air on Tuesday after journalists were given just two hours notice that the government was shutting down Channel 1’s nightly news broadcast.
In a teary goodbye, anchor Geula Even announced the ending of the show which had run for 49 years. She was joined In her send-off by staffers who sang the Israeli national anthem, Hatikva, many of them also crying.
The Israel Broadcasting Authority, which runs Channel 1, is being shuttered after years of government deliberation over what to do with the expensive and ageing news organization to make way for a streamlined publicly funded entity called Kan.
On Wednesday Israel’s parliament is set to vote on measures to allow Kan to go on air next week, and for IBA to simultaneously fully shut down. While hundreds of IBA journalists will be employed at Kan, hundreds more will be out of work.
Senior IBA journalist Yaakov Ahimeir slammed the government on air. “What is this notice, two hours in advance?” he said. “What are we, criminals?”