On May 27th, at the request of the Ministry of Information, a court dismissed Talal Makdessi, provisional head of the Lebanese public television station Télé-Liban.
Acting-director since July 2013, Mr. Makdessi’s dismissal had nevertheless been anticipated for several months, after a serious internal conflict between Mr Makdessi and his editor-in-chief. A procedure to appoint a new CEO was launched in February.
In addition, shortly before Mr. Makdessi was dismissed, the Ministry of Information had successfully filed a complaint against him, prohibiting him from making any public statement about Télé-Liban without prior authorization. Makdessi immediately gave a press conference to express his views on the subject, which undoubtedly hastened his dismissal.
Melhem Riachi, Lebanon’s Minister of Information, believes Mr. Makdessi “never complied with the Ministry’s requests to cease his violations of the company’s regulations. […] These serious distortions have provoked very strong reactions from officials and employees within the channel, which has led us to resort to legal proceedings.”
After examining the 138 candidatures received, President Michel Aoun has already drawn up a short-list of three people likely to take the chairmanship of Télé-Liban.
While waiting for the Council of Ministers to discuss the choice, a new CEO, Joseph Samaha, has been appointed – provisionally.
Sources: L’Orient-Le Jour, NNA