Prominent diplomatic correspondent, a Netanyahu critic, loses his TV job

Barak Ravid among nearly 40 people who received dismissal letters from Channel 13, which says it is dealing with a financial streamlining process

Channel 13 diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid on June 30, 2020. (Screen capture/Twitter)
Channel 13 diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid on June 30, 2020. (Screen capture/Twitter)

A prominent journalist known for diplomatic scoops and critical coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received notice Sunday that he was being dismissed.

Barak Ravid, Channel 13 TV’s diplomatic correspondent, was among nearly 40 people who received dismissal letters from the station, Hebrew media reported.

Anchorwoman Tali Moreno, veteran weatherman Danny Roop and political correspondent Akiva Novick were among other big names being let go. But it was Ravid’s dismissal that raised eyebrows.

In a statement to the Haaretz newspaper, Channel 13 said it was dealing with a financial streamlining process that has forced it to “bid farewell to outstanding professionals.” It said the process would be continued “within the organization, not outside it,” due to privacy concerns.

Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud with Channel 13’s Barak Ravid, February 2019 (Twitter screenshot)

Ravid has gained a reputation for breaking stories about Israel’s relations with the US, the European Union and other foreign partners. His reporting has upset Netanyahu at times, and the prime minister has publicly rebuked Ravid in the past.

In recent months, Ravid has had exclusive interviews with Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s top Mideast adviser, and with the foreign minister of Bahrain, an Arab country that does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. He also writes for the online news site Axios, and is known as a key source of information among Washington insiders and Mideast experts.

A person familiar with the situation at Channel 13 said Ravid’s dismissal letter cited him for having poor “professional results.” The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a personnel matter.

Matan Hodorov, a reporter for the channel who also led labor negotiations, described Ravid’s firing as a mistake during an appearance on a late-night news broadcast, and said he was holding out hope management would still reverse the decision.

Noa Landau, the diplomatic correspondent at Haaretz, a post previously held by Ravid, said on Twitter that the dismissal has the “scent of a political assassination.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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