JERUSALEM (JTA) – American billionaire Ronald Lauder agreed to bail out the financially troubled Israeli television station Channel 10.
Under the agreement signed with the State of Israel, the franchise for Israel’s second commercial channel will be extended for three years and Lauder, the station’s majority shareholder, will invest nearly $21 million over that time, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.
Channel 10′s debt is equal to about $29 million, according to reports.
Lauder, who owns 25 channels in Eastern Europe, said during a news conference on Sunday that he was signing the agreement to help save the jobs of the station’s 600 employees. He also decried Israel’s stringent regulatory laws, saying that no other country in the world has regulations as tough as Israel.
The station’s debt consists of state royalties and license fees, as well as interest on the fees, according to reports.
Lauder is the president of the World Jewish Congress.